Recent Graduates: Where Are They Now?
Dom Lewis: Team Epiphany Community Manager in New York City
Enticed by a football scholarship, Dom Lewis came to CMU from his hometown Salt Lake City. Lewis earned a degree in Mass Communication with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. During his time at CMU Lewis focused on developing his writing and video editing skills and was involved with CMU TV. Lewis completed internships with KKCO 11 News and the US Olympic Training Facility in Colorado Springs.
After graduating in May of 2013 Lewis was offered the position of Community Manager by Team Epiphany, a marketing and advertising agency in New York City. He focuses on community engagement for a large sports company on all social media platforms. "I analyze trends within the community and strategize to provide intriguing and inspirational content to our followers" said Lewis "I focus on building and strengthening relationships between followers, consumers and influencers of the brand."
He highly advises that all students apply for multiple internships during their time in school. "These are golden opportunities to get hands-on training in a professional setting that you just cannot get in the classroom." Lewis also suggests that students focus on networking during these internships to help build professional relationships with others in the field.
Sarah Rose: Reporter for the Glasgow Daily Times
After earning her Associate's degree from Otero Junior college, Sarah Rose transferred to CMU with aspirations of completing a Bachelor's in Psychology. Rose later decided her passion was in writing and print media and switched over to Mass Communication. During her time at CMU, Rose focused on developing her writing skills and worked for The Criterion for two semesters. Rose notes how broadening her knowledge in new media has been helpful during her career. "I was skeptical about needing these classes since I envisioned myself writing for a newspaper," said Rose "I now know how to utilize social media in a professional setting." Rose completed an internship with The Daily Sentinel during her time at school.
After graduating in May of 2013, Rose was hired as a reporter by a newspaper in Kentucky called The Glasgow Daily Times. She is considered the newspaper's "cops and courts reporter" but she finds herself writing various other feature stories. Rose's work load also includes jobs other than writing. "I take photos, help layout pages, copy edit, post stories to our website and post on our social media accounts."
Rose advises that current students be prepared to seek jobs outside of Colorado. "I wanted to use my degree that I worked so hard for, so I decided to expand my search to a national level," said Rose "I didn't think I would end up in Kentucky but it's very much worth it."
Ariel Land: Marketing and Investor Relations Coordinator
After completing her Associate's degree at the College of Southern Nevada in Psychology, Ariel Land transferred to CMU from her hometown of Las Vegas. During her time at CMU, Land explored various aspects of communications such as advertising, public relations and software applications. Land completed her Bachelor's with Magna Cum Laude in May of 2013. Following graduation Land took her internship with the JGS Group in Las Vegas.
Land received a job offer from the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance as the Marketing and Investor Relations Coordinator. She is responsible for various forms of communication such as marketing, community development and boosting investor relations.
Land advises current CMU and future Mass Communication majors to be professional in all academic settings. "Be professional and have integrity in each situation because you never know who you are standing in front of," said Land "It might be a person who lands you a job or helps you get a foot in the door.
Mat Peters: From CMU to D.C. and now doing P.R. in South Dakota
Born and raised in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Mat Peters is right at home in his current position as Marketing Projects Manager for the Black Hills and Bad Lands Tourism Association. His job is to market the entire region of South Dakota/Black Hills to the rest of the nation.
"Thousands of businesses rely on the tourism industry here (in South Dakota), but very few have the resources to market themselves to the rest of the world, so they formed the Black Hills and Bad Lands Tourism Association," Peters says. After graduating from Colorado Mesa, Peters traveled across the country, going as far as Washington D.C. and as near as Denver, but never lost his passion for the outdoors or his home state of South Dakota.
He landed his current position through his network of people, which he would tell any graduating senior is "just as important to build as your resume or gaining your degree." Peters fondly remembers his time at Mesa. Whether writing for the Criterion or talking over the airwaves of KMSA, he was the consummate Mass Communication student. Graduating with honors and a 3.9 GPA while competing on the varsity cycling team, Peters excelled both in and out of the classroom.
PJ Edgell: At home at KJCT8.com
PJ Edgell thrives in the Grand Valley even though Denver is his native habitat. Having graduated from Colorado Mesa in 2008, he is used to the Grand Junction atmosphere and has fit right in at one of the most prominent news stations in the community. As the Digital Content Director for KJCT News 8, Edgell has done numerous jobs for the station since his graduation. At the forefront has been his work on the redesign of the News 8 website, KJCT8.com. His stellar work has garnered him two awards, in 2011 and 2012, from the Colorado Associated Press Broadcasters Association. Other jobs around the station for Edgell include creating Internet content, managing social networks, and making sure that local stories get shared with the national media. It was CMU that landed him his current position. "I was fortunate to go to Mesa because a Creative Services internship opened up at KJCT and it turned into a paid Chyron Operator (graphics for the newscast) position."
As an advertising/public relation major at Colorado Mesa, Edgell thought he would be out of his element in the newsroom. Soon he realized that the two tie in well together. "I learned a lot more about advertising and I deal with PR on a daily basis when speaking to Public Information Officers, and speaking to and interviewing the general public." From here, Edgell sees himself continuing to work with website design and social media. He hopes to soon move back to his original home in Denver where he wants to continue to work in the field.
Amber Rich: A master of many skills
Amber Rich is a Mass Communication guru. With over seven years of experience in the field, she has worked in all aspects of mass communication including social media work and print publications, website content and media relations, marketing and advertising. Her current position as the Marketing and Advertising Manager for Meissner Sewing and Vacuum Centers (the second largest sewing machine dealer in the nation) means that she is tasked with developing and implementing a strategic marketing plan in order to increase store, website, and event traffic. All of this is in a days work for Rich. After graduating from CMU, Rich earned her master's degree in public relations from the University of Southern California. From there she has worked in her field for the City of Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board. She still uses skills she honed at Mesa. "I still use many Adobe skills that I worked on in my journalism and design courses," she says. She also said that learning to write quickly, efficiently and effectively- all things she learned at CMU- is part of her daily workload. Rich is the consummate young professional. While diligent and hardworking in her current position, Rich still keeps her eyes open for more opportunities. "I'm always looking for new prospects and I hope to eventually land that dream job." Our bet is, soon enough, she will do just that.
Amanda Walton: Creative Services and Promotions
Amanda Walton came to CMU from Longmont, Colorado. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2009 with degrees in Applied Professional Spanish, Mass Communication with an emphasis in Broadcasting and a minor in Violin Performance. Walton was very busy a CMU expanding her skills in writing, shooting and editing video for her classes as well as playing for the University's orchestra. While still enrolled in school Walton was given a grant to assist the Environmental Science and Geology departments to make promotional videos. Walton also completed an internship with KJCT-TV in their Creative Services department.
Following graduation Walton worked as a receptionist at KJCT-TV. Currently, Walton is employed by KKTV-TV in Colorado Springs as the Creative Services Director. She oversees the Creative Services and Promotions departments. She works on the stations branding and image as well as creating and producing content for the news and sales departments.
Walton encourages current Mass Communication students to take on a part-time job or internship in your field while you are still in school. "You will gain real-world experience and often get a leg-up on your competition", said Walton.