College of Media | News

Speakers Give Real World Advice on Senior Saturday

Rachel Caulfield
3/5/2012  8:00 am


College of Media alumni returned to Champaign on Saturday, Feb. 25 to give career advice to the class of 2012. Seniors and fellow undergraduates spent the afternoon in career panels asking alumni about professionalism, how to act in an interview, and networking tips. Panelists represented college major divisions in advertising, journalism, agricultural communications, and media and cinema studies.  


Kevin Passolt, ’04 ADV, said that his path to a job started by building relationships with professors in college. He spent much of his time working in the basement of Greg Hall, and instructors noticed. “I’m pretty sure (my professors) thought I lived in Greg Hall,” he said.


Advice on how to perform in job interviews was a common question for panelists. Marie Wilson, ’10 JOURN, said that journalism students should use their own reporting experience to be an engaging interviewee.  “Be a good source,” Wilson said.  “While being interviewed, put yourself in the place of the person who is interviewing you.  Act interested, honest, and know what you are talking about.”


Greg Morrison, ’07 ADV, added that students should refrain from asking obvious questions. “The worst thing you can ask is: ‘So, are there any job openings?’  If there are openings they’ll tell you," said Morrison.


After the interview is over, Eddie Revis, ’11 ADV, recommended sending a hand written thank you card, adding that the note, "will make or break your job potential.”


Ted Kemp, ’99 Media Studies, said the ideal person he wants to hire is someone who is conscientious, who will put in a lot of effort to do the best job. “I would rater hire someone who wants to do a good job rather than someone who has more work experience and doesn’t have that quality,” he said. 


John Schippman Jr., ’00 MS JOURN, said the biggest culture shock he experienced was learning on the job.  He said it’s very in your face and, “your first job is the hardest.”


After the career panels, students got a chance to network with alums in small groups. 


Jessica Jorsch, ’07 ADV, said that when it comes to networking, the best thing students can do is meet in person – "take them out for lunch and buy them coffee."