In their last week of classes before walking across the stage in Zorn Arena donning caps and gowns, three UWEC Communication and Journalism students look back on their time at UWEC and look forward to how they will apply the skills they’ve garnered to real world experiences. Alexis Benjamin, Kristina Bornholtz and Kelsey Karnopp are among the 2015 UWEC CJ graduates.
Name: Alexis Benjamin
Major: Organizational Communication
Post-Graduation plans: District Manager at ALDI, Inc. starting June 1st.
CJ related activities/accomplishments: student-faculty research (2 years), peer academic advising (2 years), First year experience (FYE) mentor (1 year), Org. Comm scholarship recipient, Academic Assistant (AA) for CJ/WMNS 111 (1 semester).
Highlight of your UWEC CJ experience: Being a peer academic adviser. It was very rewarding to start the program with my co-worker Amanda and help students of all majors and ages within the CJ department to understand degree audits, make a “4 year plan,” and answer any questions they may have had!
Advice to future UWEC CJ students: Network! We have AMAZING faculty in the department who are here to help you and want you to succeed – take advantage of that while you can!
Name: Kristina Bornholtz
Post-graduations plans: Interning at FoodNetwork.com in New York City.
CJ related activities/accomplishments: Managing editor at The Spectator, intern at Women’s Health magazine.
Highlight of your UWEC CJ experience: Working at The Spectator. It’s been an incredible experience – it’s taught me so much and has given me so many friends.
Advice to future UWEC CJ students: Go outside your comfort zone. If you have a dream, chase it. You have to fight for what you want out of your college experience and your degree!
Name: Kelsey Karnopp
Major: Mass Communication – Public Relations
Post-graduation plans: I’m currently working as a social media and copy-editing intern, and I will continue to do that after graduation as I search for a full-time public relations position. I hope to do something in health care because I really want my work to make a difference.
CJ related activities: One of my favorite CJ-related opportunities was working with Dr. Evan Perrault and a team of six other students on a student-faculty research project, which I wrote about for the CJ blog. Getting the chance to take a class project and work in-depth on translating data into a solution for a real life problem was invaluable.
Highlight of UWEC CJ experience: The highlight of my CJ experience was getting an internship working for someone who spoke to my CJ 270 class. That internship started out as a fun, five-hour-a-week job. Now, after nine months of doing that internship, I have learned more than I ever could have imagined. That internship has taught me skills I never would have learned in the classroom.
Advice to future UWEC CJ students: Choose skill-based electives to enroll in that might not be directly related to your major. My computer science courses, CJ 241: Audio and Video Production Process, CJ 321: Intermediate Journalism and ART 312: Computer Graphics were incredibly beneficial to me. The skills I honed in those courses are relevant to every single job I have applied for.
What advice do you have for these and other graduating seniors?