Occupation: Communications Coordinator
I transferred to NGU from the University of Southern Mississippi after losing my apartment in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina. NGU student, Jenni Austin (alumnus) and I became friends while blogging online and she encouraged me to come visit. I came to South Carolina while I was out of school due to the Hurricane and fell in love with the area. I transferred in January 2006.
I found out NGU had a graphic designer position open while at graduation rehearsal. I had already packed my car with everything from my dorm room, so I unloaded everything to find my senior portfolio from my capstone class. I took it along with a resume and laid it on the Vice President for Advancement’s desk with a sticky note that said, “I’d like to apply for the graphic design job. Call me.”
The next day, I got a call while cleaning my dorm and Dr. Wilson Nelson, VP for Advancement, asked me to come over. I showed up in shorts and a tie dye t-shirt not realizing he wanted to interview me. He told me he was interested after reviewing my portfolio and that I could come back for an official interview. I did and a month later, I had the job. That’s how my career in higher education started.
With over 14 years of experience, I have been able to work with four universities in the southeast and several businesses throughout the country through my freelance business. I was lucky enough to grow up with social media and develop my skills as it changed over the years. This gave me the ability to grow in my field and learn new marketing trends that I’ve been able to use in my roles.
I am currently the communications coordinator at Clemson University in the School of Architecture and the Nieri Family Department of Construction Science and Management. I manage all communications for the two departments including press releases, social media, video and website management. I also serve on the President’s Commission on Women Counsel at Clemson. This position allows me to help to improve the quality of life for women at Clemson and help develop and encourage women to grow into leaders on campus.
Through the mass communication program, I was able to take two internship classes that allowed me to get real-world experience. I worked alongside professional graphic designers and others in the marketing field that prepared me for a job after graduation. I was able to build my portfolio that I used for my Capstone class that eventually landed me my first job. My suggestion to students at NGU from any major would be to take advantage of internship opportunities while in school to build their resume or portfolio. This along with their degree will help set them apart when applying for jobs.