On the Job Features
On the Job blog features the new careers and advice from recent graduates of the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications. If you would like to be featured, please email email@example.com.
Marketing Coordinator, Populous
Graduation year: 2017
Biography: Hanna is a J-School graduate who is now working and living in Kansas City near the Country Club Plaza. As a strategic communication major, she never expected to be working with architects on a daily basis, but found herself accepting a marketing coordinator position at Populous just after graduation. Now she is creating proposals and helping with strategy for her designated markets every day. During the past two summers, Hanna interned at Bernstein-Rein and VML, which really helped her get her foot in the door to the real world. Outside of work, she loves spending time with her dog and her loved ones, exploring her new city, discovering new places to eat, and shopping way too much.
How did you get your current job? I found the job on Indeed. I had also previously interviewed at Populous for an internship, so I knew people in the marketing department. They decided to interview me, and I got the job within a few days. Getting your first real job right when you graduate is such a great feeling!
What is your favorite J-School memory? My favorite J-School memory is probably when Kerry Benson helped me (more like pushed me, hard) to get over my fear of public speaking, or when I became really good friends with my campaigns group. We still communicate to this day even though we have all gone separate ways.
What advice would you give to journalism students? My advice to journalism students is to attend the events the J-school holds, such as the Career Fair at the Union. It really helped me find my career path and network with amazing people. Although I recommend working hard, the J-School also brought me some great friends. Become friends with people in your classes and make fun memories, because it goes by way too fast.
How has the J-School prepared you for the workforce? The J-School provides wonderful professors and resources to help you succeed. I learned about a ton of job opportunities throughout my college career, which really helped me land internships and my current job. The professors at the J-School also helped me perfect my resume, which really has a huge impact on whether or not an employer considers you for a job.
Client Engagement Specialist, Quest Diagnostics
Graduation year: 2018
Biography: Originally born in Kansas City, I found a passion for journalism after watching "The Devil Wears Prada" and "13 Going on 30." I was fortunate enough to pursue this passion at KU, where I discovered my love for strategic communication. The transition from graduate to professional has been both fun and exhausting, but I've been able to manage it with the help of my pug named Bu$ter.
How did you get your current job? One of my classmates who works for Insight Global notified Dr. Chen about the open position. She passed it on to me, and I went for it!
What is your favorite J-School memory? There was a show in Media Crossroads called "LFK" that ran for about two seasons. We produced maybe two episodes the year I participated in it, but meeting other people who loved comedy and making videos as much as I did really helped me feel connected to the school and also helped me get more skilled in video editing.
What advice would you give to journalism students? Get to know your classmates. Everyone has a story and as journalists, it’s our job to uncover them. There are so many beautiful people who walk through Stauffer-Flint every single day who have incredible ideas and who can help you become a more well-rounded person.
How has the J-School prepared you for the workforce? Campaigns definitely taught me the value of accountability and confidence. The workforce is looking for people who are organized and who can get their work done efficiently. Thankfully, these are things Dr. Chen required for her students to survive.
Business Development Rep, Zego
Graduation year: 2017
Biography: I came to KU from Las Vegas, not knowing anyone. During my four years, I got involved in KJHK, Alpha Epsilon Pi, started my own music journalism blog, and met some of the best folks I've ever known. I now call Kansas City my home and bleed crimson and blue.
How did you get your current job? I signed up for every job search website online. I still get countless emails from ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn, etc. Just apply for everything. Apply to 200 jobs a day. Get as many interviews as you can. Follow up with emails and calls. Be persistent. Make yourself seen. If you think you’re bothering them, you’re doing great. Don’t just knock on the door, kick that thing down. That’s how you’ll get hired. Passion is something they don’t teach in the classroom, and it’s the secret to being successful. Passion is the big secret in life.
What is your favorite J-School memory? My favorite J-School memories come from getting to know some of my professors: Yvonnes Chen, Chuck Marsh, Jon Peters, Lisa McLendon, and many more.
What advice would you give to journalism students? Professional advice: Get highly involved in jobs, internships, clubs and activities. It'll make finding a job a lot easier. Personal advice: See more concerts and write about them.
How has the J-School prepared you for the workforce? The J-School does an amazing job preparing you for everything real life throws at you. Whether you're writing, designing, marketing, etc., the skills you learn in these classes are definitely in use. Plus, if you don't write with intelligence and vibrancy, people will hate reading your emails.
Multimedia Journalist, KMTV
Graduation year: 2018
Biography: I started working in studios and production sets at age 16 in high school for Niles Media Group. They pointed me in the direction of KUJH once I got to KU. That's where I started reporting on news and sports while hosting specials like the 2016 election and traveling to events like the NCAA Tournament.
How did you get your current job? I started working at KUJH on campus as a freshman and connected with folks at KSNT in Topeka over time. KSNT brought me on my junior year, where I worked both full time and part time covering news and sports until graduation. I wanted to see what other opportunities were out there after graduating, and the position in Omaha opened up at KMTV.
The J-School has allowed me to travel to multiple NCAA Tournaments for KU basketball (and Bill Self has led KU there year after year, so I have him to thank, too). Also, teachers like Cal Butcher helped me gain real-world experience by working for FOX Sports for Kansas City Chiefs games. It's the real-world experience that helped me stand out in the eyes of KMTV.
When I asked my boss why I stood out to him, he said it was the experience that compares to those who graduate from Missouri or Syracuse. That's one of the highest compliments I've ever received.
What is your favorite J-School memory? The camaraderie built with classmates and professors at KUJH and the J-School. I'm seeing friends who are working at places they dreamed of thanks to the efforts the J-School gives its students. I think the J-School cares so much for its students.
What advice would you give to journalism students? Take advantage of the opportunities the J-School is providing you! You can only learn so much in the classroom. The experience and knowledge you gain put you ahead of the competition.
How has the J-School prepared you for the workforce? I've learned how to write concisely and effectively, shoot compelling video, tell engaging stories, communicate efficiently while being personable and professional. Teachers like Chris Bacon, Max Utsler, Chad Curtis, Kerry Benson, and Cal Butcher have taught me how fun this field can be and how the world needs journalists.
Community Programs Coordinator, Sporting Kansas City
Graduation year: 2018
Biography: I was born and raised in Lawrence, Kansas — once a Jayhawk always a Jayhawk. I graduated from the University of Kansas with bachelor's degress in journalism/strategic communication with a minor in business. Outside of work, I enjoy traveling, volunteering and being outdoors. I am passionate about helping others and caring for the people in my life.
How did you get your current job? I started as an intern for Sporting Kansas City, and my entire senior year I was part-time commuting to Kansas City. I accepted the full-time position after graduation.
What is your favorite J-School memory? My favorite J-School memory is being able to go outside on campus and study or sit there and enjoy being a student (it goes by fast!).
What advice would you give to journalism students? My advice to J-School students is not to rush anything or take things too seriously. College goes by so quick, and the second it is over you want to go back! I had a lot of success balancing my internship and job with fun, and that was very important.
How has the J-School prepared you for the workforce? The internship course that I took at KU was the most beneficial course I took. I learned what it took to work in the workforce and prepared myself for what comes next. I highly recommend taking this course with an internship.
Account Executive, Octagon
Graduation year: 2017
Biography: I'm from St. Joseph, Missouri, but I was raised a Jayhawk. When it came to choosing a college, the University of Kansas was my first choice. Being from Missouri, I received some grief for this, but it was easily the best decision I could have made. At KU, I was involved at the St. Lawrence Center and with SUA. I also interned with the School of Business, Kansas Athletics, the Kansas City Sports Commission and FC Kansas City. I loved having the opportunity to apply the skills I was learning in the classroom to practical experiences, and I loved working with and learning from so many great people.
How did you get your current job? Throughout college, I held a variety of marketing/communications internships, and a few were within the sports industry. Octagon is a sports and entertainment agency, so my different experiences helped me to build a skillset that was a good match for this position. Steve Rottinghaus at the Career Center and Dan McCarthy, my advisor, were also great resources throughout my job search.
What is your favorite J-School memory? My favorite J-School memory would have to be Campaigns. It was really rewarding to have a chance to use everything that we had learned in all of our classes over the years and see it come together into an impressive final product. I met new people and learned a lot about working as a team. It was a truly great feeling to present our ideas to the client and showcase what we had accomplished.
What advice would you give to journalism students? My advice to current students would be to try to figure out what you're passionate about and find ways to learn more about it or gain experience within that. I love sports, so interning within that industry taught me more about it and prepared me to pursue a career in this after college.
How has the J-School prepared you for the workforce? The variety within our coursework was great. There are elements of different classes that I use daily in my job. I think the J-School does a great job in helping us to be well-rounded individuals that can contribute in many ways to an organization.
Interactive Marketing Specialist, Capitol Federal Bank
Graduation year: 2018
Biography: I am originally from Wichita, Kansas, and I came to KU with the intention of being an accounting major. Then after a few course accounting courses, I started looking into the J-School. After JOUR 101, I was sold. I knew the J-School would be a great fit for me. In May 2018, I graduated from the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, and my emphasis was in strategic communication. During my last semester, I was offered a position at Capitol Federal Bank as an interactive marketing specialist. In January, I will begin working on my master's degree in mass communications.
How did you get your current job? In January of 2018, I started at Capitol Federal as a marketing intern, then in February, I was offered a full-time position once I graduated.
What is your favorite J-School memory? Hands down my favorite J-School memory would be the summer class I took with Kerry Benson. She was a firecracker from start to finish of the course. She also pushed her students to reach their full potential. Another J-School memory would be studying aboard. I did the Creativity and Culture in Rome last summer, and it was a life-changing experience.
What advice would you give to journalism students? Utilize all the resources at your fingertips. Sign up for those Adobe sessions with Heather Lawrenz and anything else that is offered. Having those skills puts you ahead of those who don't have those skills.
How has the J-School prepared you for the workforce? A few of the most impactful courses I took in the J-School were J304: Media Writing and J560: Message Development. They helped me improve my writing skills and also how to produce creative, well-established content.
Joshua Kenneth Suos
Associate, Digital Investment - Mindshare
Graduation year: 2017
Biography: Just a kid with little to lose and so much to gain.
How did you get your current job? I visited the company during an out-of-state ad crawl with the KU Ad Club and kept building relationships afterward.
What is your favorite J-School memory? Presenting our final Stragetic Campaigns presentation because that was the moment all of our hard work (throughout not only the class, but my time as a J-School student) had paid off.
What advice would you give to journalism students? For any opportunity you’re presented with in life, the first best thing you’ll get out of it is that you’ll find what you want. The second best thing is that you’ll find what you don’t want. Everyone is on their own schedule. So just breathe. You're not late to anything; you're not early to anything. You're right on time.
How has the J-School prepared you for the workforce? The J-School has help prepared me for the professional world by teaching me the value of having confidence in my strengths and abilities. On top of that, the J-School taught me how having a great work ethic pays off in the long run.
Morning News Producer, KSNT News
Graduation year: 2018
Biography: I was born and raised in Dodge City, Kansas, and lived there until 2006. Then I moved a few miles east to the tiny town of Ford. Since Ford is too small to have a school, I went to Bucklin, where I graduated high school in 2012 with a class of 15 people. I had taken a few tours of KU and knew that's where I wanted to go. My senior year of high school, I got offered a dance and cheer scholarship at Dodge City Community College, so I decided to go a year there and get some gen eds out of the way. I ended up staying another year and got my associate of general studies degree. That final year was when I decided I wanted to be in journalism. In 2014, I finally made my way to KU, and the rest is history.
How did you get your current job? I started as an intern January 2017. When my internship was up, I told my news director I was interested in working for KSNT in Topeka, Kansas. Later that summer, I was offered the position of part-time breaking news producer. I updated the website, went to breaking news scenes, and provided VOSOTs to the evening and weekend newscasts. In March, I moved to full time. In June, I moved to the position of morning news producer.
What is your favorite J-School memory? All of the opportunities I've gotten. I've worked with Fox Sports, Time Warner Sports (now Spectrum). I was a reporter a couple times for the Bill Self Fantasy Camp. I've gotten to anchor both sports and news for KUJH, as well as write for the Kansan. I also worked at KJHK for a semester. The opportunities the J-School gave me were endless.
What advice would you give to journalism students? Don't slack off and think you can still pass. I had a low GPA and was actually out of the J-School for a short time. While I couldn't take any journalism classes until I brought my GPA up, I was still heavily involved. Another piece of advice is to try everything and be as involved as you can. The most important advice, however...have fun! Don't stress yourself out. You're only this young once, and you go to the greatest university out there. Enjoy it.
How has the J-School prepared you for the workforce? I was given so many opportunities at KU and worked side by side with professionals. I got a lot of "real world" experience while still in school. Most professors genuinely care about you and want to help/see you succeed. The spring 2018 visiting professor, Dr. Janice Collins, helped me look over my contract at KSNT before I signed it. She explained things I didn't understand and encouraged me to be confident when negotiating parts of the contract.
National Stylist Team, Trunk Club
Graduation year: 2018
Biography: I am from St. Louis, Missouri, and majored in journalism/strategic communication and minored in business. I was originally in the business school with the intention to be a marketing major, so I took a few marketing classes in addition to my journalism studies to round out my marketing interests. I was a marketing intern for Allied Global Services in Lenexa for about a year and a half, starting my spring semester junior year and working there until I graduated. I intended to enter the marketing industry post-grad but realized that I missed the retail industry. I worked for Nordstrom as a seasonal sales associate for two years prior to my internship with Allied, so I am really excited to work for the company again. I have been visiting Chicago ever since I was a little girl, so this opportunity is a great fit. In addition to working for Trunk Club, I hope to do some freelance creative marketing. I am also helping my mom with her new business venture by handling the marketing and graphic design elements.
How did you get your current job? I originally came across Trunk Club at the J-School Career Fair when I was a sophomore, I believe. I planned on applying for a summer internship at the Chicago headquarters but ended up getting an internship back home in St. Louis instead and never got the chance to apply. I did most of my post-grad job search on LinkedIn, which is where I saw the posting for the position in Chicago. They were kind enough to offer a video chat interview, so I didn’t have to travel to Chicago. After they offered me the position, I went to Chicago to check out the space, and I loved it so I accepted!
What is your favorite J-School memory? My favorite memory is taking Campaigns with Dr. Chen. I had an incredible experience with this class and owe a lot to my fantastic team and professor. I was creative director for our agency, which allowed me to grow as a graphic designer. My team became extremely close with each other and Dr. Chen, creating a both personal and professional experience. Even though the class is intimidating, having the right professor can truly make or break your experience and I 250% recommend taking it with Dr. Chen if you get the privilege.
What advice would you give to journalism students? Being a strategic communication major, so many doors are opened for you. My advice would be to keep an open mind to things you aren’t familiar with or may not necessarily enjoy and take advantage of everything you can achieve with this degree. At first, I did not enjoy graphic design and had very little interest in managing social media accounts from a business perspective. My marketing internship ended up being mostly those two things, and now I love them. I used to struggle with InDesign, and now it’s almost therapeutic for me, so it’s funny how things work out sometimes.
How has the J-School prepared you for the workforce? The J-School taught me so many basics and that allowed me to pick what I wanted to grow on. I learned to never underestimate myself or my abilities. The J-School has played a crucial role in helping me to figure out who I am, what I am good at, and what I can make a career out of.
Marketing Associate, Olsson Associates
Graduation year: 2018
Biography: I was born and raised in Overland Park, Kansas, and raised a Jayhawk. My passion for my career runs in my family — my parents were both journalism majors and met working at the same radio station in Topeka. While at KU, I was involved in Greek life, The Big Event executive board, Journalism Student Ambassadors, and had multiple internships. I loved my time at KU and know the friends I made there will be life long.
How did you get your current job? I found my job through a posting on Indeed.
What is your favorite J-School memory? My favorite J-School memory is working with Hallmark's Kaleidoscope as our client for Strategic Campaigns, the strategic communication capstone. Over the semester, my team became super close, and we still get together when we can and Snapchat each other nearly every day!
What advice would you give to journalism students? My advice would be to be open to different career paths. You can do nearly anything with a journalism degree if you have the skills and the right connections. During my time in the J-School, a lot of my fellow classmates aspired to work for an advertising agency, which is an amazing field full of opportunity and alumni. However, there are so many fields to go into that you may have never thought of! You can work in health care, higher education, AEC (architecture/engineering/construction), technology, media and more. I never expected to be in my current field, but I've learned so much and have met the greatest people!