The Importance of Reaching Out: Making connections with UW-Eau Claire alumni

"What's Your CJ Story?" is a magazine featuring CJ alumni produced by Professor  Evan Perrault's CJ 373 course in the fall.
“What’s Your CJ Story?” is a magazine featuring CJ alumni produced by Professor
Evan Perrault’s CJ 373 course in the fall.

This blog post was written by Nicole VandenPlas, a senior mass communication student. VandenPlas reflects on her experience contributing to the first edition of a CJ Department magazine:

As I wrapped up the fall semester of my senior year, the reality of graduation had taken over. I’m currently caught in a mix of emotions ranging from absolute fear to pure excitement. Every time I head home to Green Bay I’m ambushed by family and neighbors with the token senior year question, “So, what are your plans after graduation?” I feel the look of panic and rage cross my face immediately after my brain registers the dreaded question, and my not so confident response is sure to evoke just as much weariness in the mind of the question holder.

After interviewing Sam Lynch, a Blugold alumnus from the communication and journalism department, my answer to the dreaded graduation question hasn’t changed in content, but it has drastically improved in confidence. After graduation Lynch moved to the Twin Cities and began a job, not specifically in his field of study. Through a little bit of travel and corporate networking he landed a job in Nashville, Tennessee as the national account manager as well as the manager of customer service for Do-All Outdoors, a leading provider of innovative hunting and shooting gear.

Although his managerial duties aren’t exactly what Lynch studied in school, the outdoor industry has always been a passion of his, and the professional skill set and communication knowledge he acquired at UW-Eau Claire is relevant in his everyday work.

My full interview with Mr. Lynch is featured in the “What’s Your CJ Story?” magazine. This publication is a collection of alumni profiles written by the students in the Writing for Public Relations course, and offers valuable insight for current and prospective students as they begin to enter the professional working world.

Reaching out to Mr. Lynch and hearing about his journey after college and current career standing has given me hope that I too can find a job in an industry that interests me. His advice to “just go for it” has inspired me to reach outside of my comfort zone in order to open myself up to new opportunities that I may have never considered. I’m confident my mass communication major has


provided me with countless skills adaptable to any career I land in.

You can find the first edition of the magazine, which features the profiles of 23 UW-Eau Claire alumni, here. If there is someone you think would be a great addition to be featured in this magazine, please contact Dr. Evan Perrault (

In the meantime, comment and tell us what’s your CJ story?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s