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Communication studies graduates: Where are they now?

A career in public relations, broadcasting, or education or continuing on with graduate school are a few of the possibilities open to communication studies majors. One graduate is an on-air reporter for the NPR affiliate WVTF in Blacksburg, Va., and another is a reporter for The Roanoke Times newspaper in Roanoke. A former student who doubled majored in communication studies and dance works for the Boston Dance Alliance. One alumna recently graduated from Syracuse University with a master's degree in public relations and another has just started a graduate program in the school of journalism at the University of Missouri.


Kelsey Kriz Kelsey Kriz '12
PR and Customer Relations, US Cosmeceutechs LLC,

"I am working in PR and customer relations for US Cosmeceutechs LLC, an anti-aging skincare company headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. After I got the job they told me the only reason they considered me for the first interview was because of my internship at Estée Lauder, sponsored by Alexandra C. Trower '86, executive vice president for global communications. The internship helped open doors and place me in an industry I really enjoy."
Phuong Pham Phuong Pham '10
Communications Coordinator, The Vilcek Foundation (www.vilcek.org)

"Upon completing COMM101 as a first-year student, I decided to major in communication studies. My first communication internship led to my first and current full-time position, working for a nonprofit organization in New York City that honors the contributions of immigrants in the sciences and arts. The experience of majoring in communication studies at Hollins was truly immeasurable to me as it went beyond textbooks and classrooms. When I started work a month after an early graduation in December 2009, I knew that I still had a lot to learn, but I was absolutely confident that I was equipped with every skill I needed to learn fast and succeed. For being able to say this, I cannot thank enough the amazing faculty of the communication department at Hollins."
Stephanie Prosack Stephanie Prosack '09
Education Assistant, The American Chemical Society

"A few months after graduation, as a communication studies major, I moved to France to teach English to high school students. I was able to teach new concepts as a result of the communication skills I acquired at Hollins, such as public speaking and interpersonal communication. Currently, I work as the education assistant at the American Chemical Society in Washington, D.C., where I assist in marketing programs for the education division. From writing marketing materials to creating print advertisements, I use the communication strategies I learned at Hollins every day. The combination of the stimulating communication classes and internship experiences helped to prepare me to enter the professional world with confidence."
Mallory Potock Mallory Potock '09
Associate Producer, Citizen Pictures

"Hollins' outstanding communication studies program was a large part of what brought me to Hollins. The department not only provided an exceptional education from extraordinary professors, but also offered the opportunity to enhance my skills outside the classroom through January term internships. The internship program provided a valuable learning experience, and allowed me to build relationships that led to two jobs after graduation. My first internship with the team that is now Mrs. K led to a position working on a series of commercials and graphics promoting the United European Football Association. My second internship with Citizen Pictures in Denver, Colorado, created the opportunity for my current associate producer position. I get to work with an extremely talented team on the Food Network’s Emmy Award-winning show Giada at Home. I can’t emphasize enough how the combined value of Hollins’ education and internship program created opportunities after graduation."
Jenni Austin Jenni Austin '08
Community Care Partner, Volunteer State Health Plan

"When I first came to Hollins I intended to major in psychology, but after one communication class I went straight to the registrar’s office and declared my major in communication studies. I cannot say enough about how supportive and encouraging the faculty in the department area. It was first and foremost my professors who inspired confidence in me and led me to my later involvement in student government. And it is because of the environment created in my communication classes, which encouraged students to ask questions and be very involved in the discussion, that I feel comfortable in my job now walking into a meeting with individuals who have been longstanding members of the committees, asking questions, and offering up solutions. The communication department and Hollins provided me with the tools for success and the confidence to use them."
Becky Hawke

Becky (Hawke) Wilburn '05
Director of Human Resources and Public Relations, Town of Christiansburg, VA

"I have no doubt that my Hollins education played an integral role in where I am today. In addition to the stimulating classroom discussions, hands-on assignments, and close relationships with my professors, I was able to snag an extended internship at a local TV news station that eventually led to a job as an associate producer during my junior and senior years of school. I graduated fully confident that my communication skills, specifically those in technical and creative writing, could cut it in the 'real world' — because they already had."