Writing It as You Go – How a CJ degree can open the doors to your dream career

Fall2015AlumniMagCoverThis week, we bring you a guest post from UW-Eau Claire public relations major Kate Niestrom, who shares her experiences working on “What’s Your CJ Story” a publication of CJ 373–Public Relations Writing.

Writing It as You Go-How a CJ degree can open the doors to your dream career

Kate Niestrom

When I first stepped onto the UW-Eau Claire campus, the only thing that I wanted to see was the journalism department. I walked into Hibbard, saw the CJC and knew this was where I belonged. I’ve wanted to be a writer since childhood, and what I found true of all of my favorite authors was that they had written for a magazine or newspaper. While I thought that my path would be unwavering when I began college, that didn’t end up being the case. I bounced from journalism to creative writing before settling in public relations. Here, I feel like I’ve found the best fit for me within the university, and after talking to CJ alumna Laura Lazewski, I’ve learned that the best careers aren’t always the ones you planned on having.

Like me, Lazewski had different plans when she first came to UW-Eau Claire. She first intended on working with professional sports teams, and thought that majoring in mass communication would be the best way to reach that goal. As she went on through the university, she explored marketing opportunities and travelled to other schools to experience life there. When she went into the workforce after leaving UW-Eau Claire, she carried this open-mindedness with her, eventually finding her perfect fit as a recruiter for a construction company.

From Lazewski’s story I’ve learned that you don’t need to follow your plan. Happiness can exist outside of what you initially outlined for yourself, and something better is often waiting for you when you choose to broaden your horizons. This is why being a mass communication major is perfect for me. Through the CJ department, I’ve learned skills that will benefit me in countless careers such as public speaking, how to ask good questions and answer them, and how to effectively interact with any audience.

But that’s just my story, and it’s still a work in progress. Through the “What’s Your CJ Story?” alumni magazine written by students in CJ 373, you can read the stories of 29 other mass communication majors and find out where their paths have taken them. These stories will show you how they’ve taken their communication skills and used them to find careers, whether they’ve stayed working in public relations or have gone elsewhere. To share your own story, contact Dr. Evan Perrault and you could be featured in next semester’s edition.


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