Communication Career Event Brings Professionals from NBC, Asbury Park Press, ESPN

Communication Career Fair 1Over 100 students, faculty, University alumni and industry professionals from Asbury Park Press, Sirius XM, NY Daily News, Star Ledger, NBC, ESPN, and more attended the Communication Career Event on Monday, Mar. 6 in Wilson Hall from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“Events like this are beneficial to current students for networking purposes, for learning insider tips about their industries from former students who were once in the same position as them, and potentially for future internships and career advancement as well,” said Mary Harris, a specialist professor of public relations.

There were four parts of the event. The day began with a panel discussion that focused on careers in radio as well as a journalism and public relations career mentor session. This was followed by a panel discussion of careers in television and media production as well as a panel discussion on what you can do with a journalism and public relations degree.

Throughout many of the panel discussions, the panelists highlighted the importance of taking part in on campus communication clubs as it gives students the chance to begin to practice their craft. “I was particularly impressed by the alumni on the TV panel. They all started their journeys with Hawk TV and classes at Monmouth. And now that they are in the professional world, most of them are still working with each other and continue to rely on one another for new opportunities and connections,” said Robert Scott, specialist professor of communication. It’s encouraging to know there is a major network in place for our students when they graduate, one that offers personal support and professional guidance,” he continued.

Communication Career Fair 2Students have seen an increase in interest in their clubs on campus since the Communication Career Event. Russell Cerminaro, junior communication student and Webmaster at Hawk TV said, “The following week, we saw a lot of new members at our Hawk TV general meeting. So along with meeting and speaking with alumni, now more students are trying harder to get involved in extracurricular activities.”

Cerminaro believes that the highlight of the event for him was the panel discussions, as he was able to take away meaningful advice from professionals in the business. “Personally, I liked the TV panel the best. As a TV major looking to work my way into the business, it was the perfect panel to check out. The alumni gave great advice and answered everyone’s questions. They even hung around afterward to speak with people individually,” he said.

The event also allowed professors to reconnect with alumni they had taught and see where their careers have taken them. “The Communication Career event was a success because of the alumni engagement and the student participation. It was wonderful to reconnect with alumni and learn about their experiences in the work field,” said Harris.

Tara Ackaway, CEO and Founder of Social Wise Communications LLC and University alumna, offered some advice for current students regarding the importance of networking as well as the importance of keeping strong connections with your peers. She said, “It’s extremely important to listen and learn from others who were once in your shoes. Every professional who attended the career event wants nothing more than to see fellow Hawks go on to achieve big things,” she said. “You never know what opportunities will come out of networking. I recommend using career events as a way to selfishly get all of your career questions answered by people who are currently excelling in a field you dream of pursing.”

There was an Alumni Academy Award Ceremony at 4:30 p.m. followed by the opportunity for students to have their resume reviewed by professionals. The event closed with a networking and internships and jobs fair where students had the chance to meet with professionals in the field.

The networking portion of the event was also a major highlight for many students. Haley Gasparine, sophomore communication student, was able to hand her resume to professionals in the field and make connections with peers and alumni. “We actually got to speak with the individuals that gave us business advice during the panel. I spoke with Jenna (Gaudio) from Vydia and Alex (Appolonia) from Business Insider. This was awesome because I had the chance to give them my resumes, learn about their internship programs in depth, and connect with both of them on LinkedIn. This was the perfect opportunity to make a good first impression and get my foot in the door,” she said.

In the future Aaron Furgason, Chair of the Communication Department, hopes that all communication students will attend. “Networking is such an important tool to success in Communication jobs. The event offers students that opportunity,” he said.