JTC Alumni Profiles
Alumni from the Department of Journalism and Technical Communication go on to diverse and successful careers after graduation. Many enter graduate school for advanced degrees and most enter the workforce in their respective fields. Alumni profiles will be rotated weekly, so check back often. If you want your profile added to our growing library, please email Dave Kinney.
Keith White is a Technical Communication graduate who owns and operates a company called “Your Name in Graffiti.” This video piece was shot and edited by Tech Comm students. This is just one example of what students are producing. We hope to add more video features in the coming year.
|Sara Whitney, Journalism|
The Art of Open Horizons
By Catherine Kerr
With a degree in journalism and soon to be acquired events management certificate under her belt, MSU Denver graduate Sara J. Whitney finds herself with new and interesting opportunities. Her most recent professional experience was a marketing copywriter.
"My degree and skills have definitely led me to some interesting roles,” Whitney says. “It's the wide variety of exposure to people and ideas that makes a journalism degree so versatile and worthwhile. The best and most important thing I gained is a very scalable set of skills that have virtually universal applications. Journalism, public relations and marketing are obvious areas, but writing and editing skills are attractive to many positions and fields."
Along with the right degree, Whitney provides bits of advice to current and former MSU Denver journalism students from her experiences.
"I know it can be intimidating to put yourself in front of people for assignments, interviewing, photography, stories, etc.; but, now is the perfect time to get yourself out of your comfort zone and try things out."
Whitney adds that taking full advantage of these stages of learning and creating your focus are crucial steps to become successful upon receiving your degree.
"These courses provide the learning ground with the safety net of not having it be a real-life reporting assignment,” she says, “so take this as your opportunity to experiment and find the writing style, interviewing style, etc. that works for you. Once you find your style, you'll start all of your assignments (and later apply for work) from a position of strength and confidence."
Whitney lends some wisdom for graduating students. "Don't rest on your laurels in your last year or last semester. Apply for as many internships as you can, be aggressive when looking for internships and jobs, and don't be afraid to talk up your skills and experiences, even as a student or recent grad (without over embellishing, of course)."
Whitney emphasizes the importance of the Senior Ethics class she completed while attending MSU Denver. "With as much vitriol as there is flung at the media, it's important to understand how very seriously we take ethics and integrity; this class helped me have some serious, respectful and enlightening discussions with others to show them that."
|Anne Frankovich, Technical Writing and Editing, 2015|
Anne Frankovich, who has a Bachelor of Science in Technical Communication and a certificate in Technical Writing and Editing, is currently employed at Oracle, an international hardware and software company.
Frankovich undoubtedly follows the advice she would give to student today “…to think outside-of-the-box. Having a degree does not guarantee you a job, which is unfortunately a common misunderstanding. You must look where the job market is today, and search for the job openings that you qualify for. Once you learn what companies are looking for, study and increase your aptitude in those areas.”
Because of her hard work and eagerness to learn, Frankovich works as an Associate Technical Writer to the TAPE Storage Team and is responsible for the technical publications of three products. “I work cross-functionally among engineering and development to maintain and edit past documentation, while researching and creating publications for new releases.”
College students often hear from professors about the significance of doing internships. Frankovich recognizes that the knowledge and experience she gained working for the department usability testing lab, in cooperation with Aviation and Aerospace Sciences, contributed to her getting her first job out of college.
For students who are in the process of graduating and are nervous about scouting for jobs, Frankovich emphasizes to have an open mind. “Your team will appreciate your willingness to learn, and respect you for what you bring to the table. Work hard, earn your place, be humble, and if you don't know something, own it.”
One last piece of advice she offered was “Students must realize that employers are looking beyond a degree. They look for what kind of person they are about to invest in and if the candidate will bring quality to the team. Do as much as you can with every opportunity presented to you, no matter your age or understanding. Undoubtedly, you will learn something valuable.”