Have you wondered where your degree in communication studies can take you?
Becky Kurtz (‘14) is a communication studies alumna using her degree to make an impact in the world of technology. Let’s learn more about her story, the surprising journey that her education prepared her for, and the advice she would give to the next generation of communication studies students.
Choosing Communication Studies was a great decision.
Prior to majoring in communication studies, Kurtz was curious about a few different majors. When she discovered communication studies she thought to herself, “communication is so broad I can do anything with it.” Instead of becoming overwhelmed by this idea, she embraced it as an opportunity to learn how communication skills can be applied to different industries and companies.
Kurtz recalls the impact that Professor Ariana Molloy’s Organizational Communication course had on her life.
“I started figuring out what my options were in my Organizational Communication class,” said Kurtz. “We were given an assignment to look at the mission and vision statement of different companies to discover the aspects of their corporate culture. As an upperclassman, this helped me to assess what I valued in a company’s culture and became important in my job search. This is where it all began.”
Learning how to tell your story is key.
Communication studies students possess valuable skills that employers are looking for.
“It comes down to knowing how to tell your story to employers and what your personal brand is,” said Kurtz. “For me, I focused on being a driven recent college grad wanting to use my skills of communication to have an impact on a company’s communications strategy. My passion was also to work for a global company and I incorporated that as well.”
Reflecting on her time as an undergraduate student, Kurtz says that students at Biola become experts in interpersonal communication. This translates easily to the workforce where you must know how to properly handle professional interactions and conflict. She uses skills such as strategic thinking, leadership, and public speaking in her everyday work life.
Courses such as Small Group Communication helped her understand team dynamics while Methods of Research equipped her with research and observation skills to help her to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in her profession. Understanding how to properly propose an idea, project or program was another skill gained from taking Biola’s Persuasive Communication course.
Taking advantage of your time at Biola helps equip you for the future.
During Kurtz’s senior year of college, she recalls trying to balance job searching, schoolwork, and leading the Adventure Club on campus. Through networking and many informational phone calls, she landed an internship which transitioned into a full time corporate communication role at a leading technology company.
In Kurtz’s current position she works directly with the Chief Technology Officer to communicate to internal and external audiences. A typical day would include executing on his content strategy (videos, blogs, podcasts, events), working in lock step with the Public Relations department, overseeing the internal intranet site which connects employees globally, and working with technologists on her team to promote their research.
Stepping outside the office is key.
Becky believes in a good work-life balance - she loves a good adventure. Between checking activities and restaurants off her bucket list with her husband, blogging about her travels, or hiking at a local trail, she loves to explore the different facets of the world that God has created.
Setting yourself up for success outside of Biola.
Kurtz offers current Biola communication studies students some words of advice.
Besides having a killer resume and a LinkedIn profile, it is important to build your personal brand. Employers want to hire people who are confident in their abilities.
Even though our personal brand develops over time, knowing how to communicate it well is key.
Communication studies is a broad major that equips you for many different industries,
“You can be an opportunist or you can be overwhelmed by the possibilities,” said Kurtz. “Be curious and research companies and industries.”
Kurtz says that in preparation for post-college life she held several jobs, started an on-campus club, and sought out mentorship while at Biola. She recommends you, “try new things and invite family, friends, alumni, faculty, and staff to walk alongside you in your journey.”
It is a process to find where your communication studies degree will take you. Every process starts with one step. That first step could be as easy as applying for a job or internship or meeting with the Career Center. What will yours be?