A job in communication in today’s world isn’t the same as it was 10 years ago – or even five years ago. In an industry that’s changing faster than ever before, how do you remain competitive with a four-year degree that could be obsolete the minute it’s printed?
For some, it’s easier than others. But even the valedictorian isn’t immune to job search struggles.
Danielle Alio, valedictorian of the Class of 2012, applied for positions both at news stations and production companies, even looking at media jobs in higher education.
“There were very few openings and many of them required a few years of experience in the working world that I technically did not have because I had just graduated,” Alio said in an email.
But work experience requirements were the least of her worries.
“I didn’t let that stop me from applying,” Alio said. “You have to take the chance.”
Alio began working as the multimedia specialist in the office of communications at Princeton University five weeks ago – a position which she originally applied for in August.
“It wasn’t until November when I heard back,” Alio said. “Then, shortly after the New Year began, I got the call with the job offer.”
Alio creates content for Princeton’s homepage using both photography and video, as well as its social media platforms. She also works with students who submit their own video content for campus events and clubs.
“The field is rapidly changing,” Dr. Jerome Zurek, chair of the communication department, said. “Everybody has to do all the media. People are especially getting hired to do social media.”
And that’s exactly where Jamie Santoro, also from the Class of 2012, found himself.
Santoro began as a freelance consultant in November and is now the social media and marketing editor at Item Media, where he manages its social media channels for their publication Tea Magazine. His responsibilities also include managing Total Audience Marketing, a tool that allows its audience to market their products beyond the typical print ad.
His advice for those on the job search of every major, especially at Cabrini, is simply to “call the you-know-what down about it.”
“It’s the most terrifying thing in the world but only because you tell yourself it is,” Santoro said. “You’ll find something, everyone always does.”
The one thing that Santoro did which most don’t, is take advantage of every opportunity as one of networking. He lifeguarded over the summer after graduation at a pool – and that’s exactly what led him to his new job.
“I got a tip from a parent of a child I gave swim lessons to,” Santoro said. “The parents and members of the swim club were not only ‘keeping an eye out’ for opportunities as a lot of your parent’s friends will say they will do, they were actively job searching for me.”
As for working for a Tea publication…
“Delving into the world of Tea, something I wasn’t particularly fond of before, was interesting,” Santoro said. “People who are fanatics about tea are vocal, passionate, and a little intimidating. Trying to get in contact with Indian companies is very difficult when you’re on this side of the planet.”
What both Santoro’s and Alio’s stories showcase is a part of the larger theme of the communication department.
“Our students have done especially well in the job market because they have been able to tell human stories in multiple media,” Zurek said.
This ability to delve more deeply and to see the bigger picture translates into every career – knowing cultural and interpersonal communications prepares graduates to communicate across all borders, even in situations as abstract as tweeting tea companies in India.