Career Preparation Day

The 12th Annual Department of Communication’s Career Preparation Day will be held on Wed. October 21st, 2020 virtually via Zoom. All Communication majors, minors, and graduate students are encouraged to attend this event and learn from department alumni about interviewing, networking, job seeking, e-recruiting, transitioning from college student to full-time employee, resume writing, promoting your communication degree, and more. If you have questions about Career Preparation Day please contact Stacey Macchi at

12th Annual Career Preparation Day Program (Wed. October 21st 2020 )

I Sessions

II Sessions


"Navigating Organizational Change: How to be prepared and not be overwhelmed"
Jennie Nance & Benjamin Hoy

You leave college and have been prepped as best as you can be for that first job opportunity, but what we weren’t prepared for is Organizational Change. We have been through several major reorganizations, some resulting in reductions in force, total career changes and loads of stress when you know it’s coming but you don’t know your personal fate. This pair of alumni have plenty to share to help shape your behaviors and mindsets as you embark on those careers and run into organizational change.

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"Do Pass Go: Do Collect $200 in Admissions"
Shawn Wochner & Jillian Briggs

A communication degree can set up you for many professional opportunities in life, including working in Admissions and Higher Education. Come chat with me about how this degree is relatable to working in higher education, even during times of COVID.

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"“Big Things Have Small Beginnings"
Jessica Cornelio

Let’s talk about the stepping stones to finding a career you love. If you’re like me, you majored in Communication because you thought, “Who doesn’t need to know how to communicate?!” Then once you stepped out into the real world you question yourself if you should have chosen a more direct major like Business or Accounting. This workshop shows how having a Communication degree will make you a well-rounded individual and helps you stand out from others in your field.

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"Positioning Yourself for Success: Content Marketing & Communication"
Justin Rinaldi

Communication, graphic communication, marketing, and mass communication degree holders are now fighting over the same jobs. Position yourself for success and receive resources for leading the pack of new graduates in today's ever changing hiring environment. Presenter, Justin Rinaldi oversees the marketing operations for Safety Speed Manufacturing, overseeing Company Communications including Public Relations, Search Engine Optimization Strategy, Pay Per Click Strategy, Graphic Design and Web Development.

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"Starting Your Career In Uncertainty: Lessons From 20 Years Later"
Matt Sager & Mike Gerrish

Since leaving WIU, one thing is constant, uncertainty. This duo has seen the events of Sept 11, 2001, the Great Recession as well as many personal and professional stops and starts. These Communication Alumni plan to discuss how uncertainty is always present... it doesn't go away, it just changes. However how we (you) manage that uncertainty, through hard work, continuous improvement, friendship and humility can make a huge difference.

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"Entrepreneurship: Untold Stories of Growth, Culture, and Hustle"
Betsy Krug

Dream of having your own business? I did too! I’m sharing my journey to entrepreneurship, the lessons I’ve learned, the mistakes I’ve made (including some big ones), and the proven strategies that brought me success. With my dedicated team and business partner, I have built a boutique event production firm that specializes in destination weddings and bespoke social events with a national reputation for our unique approach to events. The untold stories from behind the scenes are the ones you want to hear, and I can’t wait to share them with you!

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"Four Ways to Navigate Your Career Path"
Jamese Carrell

In this session attendees will hear first-hand from a professional who has navigated her career path by completing four key action-oriented tasks that she encourages students to do: 1. Conduct informational interviews 2. Develop your digital professional footprint 3. Identify a mentor 4. Record your accomplishments and work. The goal of this session is to help students understand that despite a pandemic, there are some key steps they can take to make navigating their career and transition a smoother process. It is with the four action tasks listed above that students will be able to implement 1-2 strategies into their current career development plans.

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"What I Wish I Knew"
Kelsey Olson, Hayley Wozny & Tony Eckert

Three alumni entrepreneurs want to help YOU make an impact on your future. Learn how they got started and the adversity they faced to become successful real estate agents in their markets. Discuss building lasting relationships, creating a brand that is based around helping others, working hard to achieve the life that you want and ultimately hear some tips that they wish they knew at the start of their career.

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