Texas Tech University

Converging News

By Kara Waggoner, Photos by Riannon Rowley

Aleesa Ross

Aleesa Ross

The Career Center in the College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech University is a service designed specifically for mass communications students to assist them with current and future career-related topics.

According to the Career Center website, http://www.depts.ttu.edu/comc/programs/career.php, some of the services provided for students consist of internship and job search assistance, resume and portfolio development, and career counseling.

Aleesa Ross, director of the Career Center, said she enjoys helping students with their career development and wants students to know they always can ask questions at any time. Ross said because she is in constant communication with alumni and industry professionals, she is able to provide students with valuable information.

“I am in touch with our alumni and other industry professionals so I get constant feedback of what they are looking for,” Ross said. “When giving guidance, I incorporate industry standards along with general resume tips. I am constantly reading articles and staying up-to-date on current trends so I can help students make their resumes stand out and relevant to the job requirements.”

Ross' duties do not stop at advising. She also hosts resume workshops, organizes the College of Media & Communication Career Fair in the fall, assists with interview preparation, and conducts mock interviews. Ross said students who have utilized these services gain confidence because they have talked through the process with her. She thinks the time is never too early for students to contact her for career assistance.

Shelby Chapman

Shelby Chapman

“My advice for students at the College of Media & Communication is that it is never too early to start looking for internships or jobs,” Ross said. “It is the things you do here at Texas Tech that will help you get to that next level.”

Shelby Chapman, junior broadcast journalism major from Austin, Texas, said she contacted Ross at the Career Center because she was a transfer student looking to get involved. She said Ross helped her in gaining internship opportunities, as well as assisted her in preparing her resume for job searches after graduation.

“I do not think students realize that the Career Center is there to help,” Chapman said. “This is a very important aspect of the College of Media & Communication because not all universities go out of their way to give students the best possible chance to succeed. Aleesa is helpful in so many ways. When you need someone to talk to, she is always there to listen.”

To find out more information about the Career Center, or to schedule an appointment, please contact Aleesa Ross at (806) 834-0348 or aleesa.ross@ttu.edu.

By Kara Waggoner, Photos by Riannon Rowley


Photos courtesy Trent Seltzer, Ph.D.

The members of Tech PR, a student organization in the College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech University, traveled March 29 to Dallas to tour public relations agencies and to meet with professionals in the industry.

The weekend trip consisted of agency tours with Fleishman-Hillard, HCK2 Partners, American Red Cross, Weber Shandwick, DMagazine, Southwest Airlines and the Cotton Bowl. The purpose of the tours was to allow students to experience an agency environment and to connect with industry professionals.

Trent Seltzer, Ph.D., professor and department chairperson of public relations, is the adviser of Tech PR and said he thinks events such as the Dallas trip are beneficial for students because of the valuable education they gain from the experience.

“Specifically for public relations students,” Seltzer said, “trips like this provide a great hands-on experience. Not only do students get to see the inner-workings of some organizations that they might want to work for in the future, but it also gives them the opportunity to network with professionals and build personal connections.”

 Caroline Trujillo

Caroline Trujillo

Caroline Trujillo, senior public relations major from Bedford, Texas, is the president of Tech PR and assisted in organizing the agency tours and the evening networking social event. Trujillo said the most memorable part of the trip for her was connecting with professionals in the industry.

“At the Edelman presentation, I was able to engage in conversation with a woman who was from Venezuela,” Trujillo said. “I told her my mother was from Panama, and she immediately asked if I spoke Spanish fluently. I told her I did and she asked me to send her my resume. The following week, I had a phone interview with her. I never thought something like this would ever happen to me. It was very encouraging and gave me confidence.”

Trujillo said the trip was a valuable learning experience for her because she was able to participate in mock interviews and have her resume critiqued by professionals. Trujillo said she thinks one of the most important lessons she learned on the trip was to always be curious and ask questions.

“I learned that because we are young, we still have a lot more to learn,” Trujillo said. “It is OK if we do not know certain things. We are going through a learning process and it is OK to ask questions and to be curious about what's going on in the industry.”

Porshae’ Brown

Porshae' Brown

Porshae' Brown, junior public relations major from Houston, is the vice president of Tech PR. Brown said she would like events such as the Dallas trip to be offered more often because she thinks the event is valuable for students to learn different skills.

“I think trips such as the Dallas one are valuable for students,” Brown said. “Being a part of a student organization, I want to have the opportunity to go on trips and learn new things, not to just meet once a month. I want to be able to say that I went somewhere for experience, have done things to improve my resume, and have met influential people.”

Brown said she thinks implementing more organized trips within the college will keep students intrigued in their major and will motivate them to do great things.

“In the future, I would like to see an event like the Dallas trip occur once a semester,” Brown said, “so that we can keep students interested in Tech PR, in the major of public relations, as well as in the College of Media & Communication.”

Student Discusses Internship at Southwest Airlines
interview by Kara Waggoner, video by Ben Jarvis

By Kara Waggoner, photos by Jerod Foster, R.J. Hinkle and Riannon Rowley

Group photoshoot at night

R.J. Hinkle photographs a student during his presentation

R.J. Hinkle

R.J. Hinkle

R.J. Hinkle, professional photographer and Texas Tech University alumnus from Dallas, visited photography students this spring to give them a professional perspective of the photography industry.

Hinkle is also a member of the National Professional Advisory Board for the College Mass Communications at Texas Tech University, and he tries to come back once a year for meetings and to visit with students. Hinkle said he enjoys meeting students because he is reminded of his own college experience and the visits allow him to give back to the college.

“I always try to do what I can to share and give back,” Hinkle said. “It is always rewarding for me to come talk to students, especially when they are good and engaging. It is a little amusing for me because I sat in those same chairs watching people come and speak and doubting the significance of their knowledge. It's funny how things turn around like that.”

Hinkle said he believes that for students to have the opportunity to meet with industry professionals is important because the experience gives them a different educational perspective.

“I think it is invaluable,” Hinkle said. “It's imperative. The university is a great sterile laboratory, but it's really important to get those different perspectives outside the classroom in order to get a well-rounded education. We have great faculty members at Texas Tech, but you cannot get everything from one source.”

Jerod Foster

Jerod Foster

Jerod Foster, M.A., and full-time instructor of photography, is a friend of Hinkle's and asked him personally to visit one of his classes. Foster said he thought students would benefit from knowing what Hinkle does in the industry as well as walking through a portrait shoot with him.

“I thought it would be a good idea for R.J. to come in and talk about what he does for a living and to walk students through visualizing and executing a portrait shoot,” Foster said. “This was a very real experience for the students mainly because they were a part of the shoot and could see everything that was happening. R.J. is very good at explaining things and walking through the process.”

Foster said he thinks students benefit from meeting industry professionals such as Hinkle because the experiences allow them to see someone who came from the same educational program and achieve real-world success.

“I think having R.J. come speak,” Foster said, “shows students that someone of his great stature came right out of the College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech University, worked very hard, and made something of himself.”

Corie Williams, senior electronic media and communications major from Eldorado, Texas, is a student of Foster's and was able to meet Hinkle in class. She said the most important thing she learned from Hinkle's visit is to always work hard and that the amount of equipment a photographer has does not necessarily determine the production of quality.

Photo of Corie Williams by R.J. Hinkle

Photograph of Corie Williams that R.J. Hinkle took during his presentation

“R.J. taught me that in order to make it in the photography industry,” Williams said, “you have to be willing to work hard, be dedicated, and have great communications skills. He also said the amount of equipment you have does not necessarily determine the quality of content you produce. Knowing that he came from the same program here at Texas Tech inspired me to where I now think if he made it in the industry, then it is possible for me too.”

Williams said as a student, she appreciates alumni who come back to Texas Tech and speak with students about their experiences in the industry. She said she thinks they provide encouragement and a valuable perspective.

“I think it is very important for alumni to come back and speak with students,” Williams said. “Professors are valuable because they bring so much to the table and are the ones in the trenches teaching us, but guest speakers provide a different perspective of expertise, encouragement, possibilities and opportunities.”

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