When I got into Chapman, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up. Two years in, and I still had no idea what direction I wanted my life to go in. I finally decided to declared Communication Studies my junior year after being undecided for what felt like forever. I chose Comm because I felt that I could apply this major to any area of work I wanted to pursue (which at the time I still had no idea). Luckily, that was the smartest decision I made in my studies because my degree has benefited me more than I could have imagined post-graduation. The summer going into my senior year, I had an internship at Discovery Studios in Los Angeles learning how the world of reality TV worked. That year I kept in contact with my supervisor and various people I met there. Then one month before my graduation date, I was offered a job there as an assistant to an Executive Producer. After three rounds of interviews for this position, I got a call that I was the chosen one. I was shocked that this producer chose me since I had no experience or training in the television business whatsoever. However, he later told me that one of the top reasons I stood out from other, more qualified candidates, was because I was very well spoken. Thank you Comm Studies!
I was at Discovery for two and a half years, and then my boss came to me and said he was going to start his own production company and asked if I wanted to go try development there. I immediately took the offer without hesitation, and now here I am almost a year into working for our startup, Topspin Content. As a development producer I basically get to think of new show ideas all day. I do research, write up treatments on what the show will be, interview possible talent all over the country, go out on shoots on my own and film content we need, help edit sizzle reels for networks, attend show pitches, and so much more. Honestly, it’s a pretty cool job. Most of my day involves working and communicating with others. Whether its finishing a project with my coworker, interviewing possible talent over Skype, or pitching an idea to a network executive, I am confident that I can communicate and engage with anyone effectively and positively. Big shout out to the School of Communication for that!
More shout outs to some of the amazing professors who made my journey to my degree so pleasant, challenging, and impactful. Dr. Jennifer Bevan was an incredible advisor for our senior research project and showed me how influential research is. Professor Jeffery Compangano actually made Communication Law fun to learn and broke it down in a way even I could understand. Professor Allan Axibal pushed me outside of my comfort zone and encouraged me to join the forensics team (aka public speaking) which was one of the best things I did at Chapman. I met some amazing and very talent students and performed some impactful dialogue pieces in various competitions. And finally, Professor Richard Doetkott who made public speaking fearless and fun. His class was unlike any other. May he rest in peace.
My degree in Comm taught me more than just learning to communicate well with others. It taught me how to really relate with people on an interpersonal and intrapersonal level. It taught me how to read people and situations and respond appropriately and effectively. It taught me more than picking the right words, but also the right body language and expressions. Overall this degree taught me how to present myself to the best of my ability in various situations and connect with people on many levels. All of that is invaluable in whatever field you chose to pursue (coming full circle to why I chose the Comm Studies Major).
I love my job. I get to work with all different types of people every day. New challenges arise all the time and I am constantly learning. It is a field I never dreamed of being in, yet I can’t imagine myself anywhere else. I truly believe a huge reason I am standing where I am today is because of my ability to communicate well with others and build solid relationships. My boss to this day tells me that to be successful you need two things: 1) be good at your job 2) be well-liked by your coworkers. Ultimately people hire people they like to be around, so put your whole true self out there in anything you do! Someone is bound to root for you and want to be on your team.