by Bryanna Merda, SCC ’18

Jess Weimer graduated in 2014 with a double major in Communication Studies and Spanish. Starting from an office then shifting to a mic, she is now pursuing her dreams of becoming a solo artist.

She was excited to share her journey with the School of Communication family in a short interview I conducted this fall.

What was your first job after graduation? When did you get that job? How did you get it?

I worked at a tech/fashion start-up named Spylight. I started working at the company in July 2014, right after I graduated, thanks to a reference from a friend at Chapman.

What was your position and what did you do? Did you enjoy this position?

I started as a Fashion Consultant and was promoted to Manager of Partnerships. By the end, I was acquiring and managing partnerships with Digital Influencers. I learned a lot from the position, but I wasn’t being fulfilled by it as I wasn’t pursuing my passion at the time.

How did the School of COM prepare you for that position?

I received a promotion after presenting communication strategies to improve company work flow to the CEO. My education in Communication Studies and my experiences in group projects at Chapman University not only fully prepared me for my first job, but helped me secure one of the quickest promotions the company had seen at that point.

What motivated you to leave this company and follow your dream to pursue a career?

I was compelled to live my best life, which involved big dreams and big risks, but it was the only path that I felt fulfilled in pursuing. Music is such a part of my identity, and I knew I needed to give it my full attention to really flourish.

How have the skills you learned through your COM major at Chapman benefited your music career so far?

Making music, much like any other profession, involves working with and relying on others; i.e  producers, studios, fellow musicians, etc. My COM education gave me a solid understanding of how to be assertive and maintain a collaborative environment in my professional interactions, which has been invaluable.

What was your biggest takeaway from Chapman?

The relationships that I made are by far my biggest takeaway from Chapman. I can trace all of my professional life and the majority of my social life back to Chapman in one way or another. I built a solid foundation of great connections and friendships there that continue to help me move forward today.

What advice do you have for current students?

Be honest with yourself in what drives you and don’t be afraid to follow that drive. Take advantage of having so many amazing people and programs around you. Get involved in any activities that make you tick, because the connections you make and the relationships you build now can really pave the path for you if you put in the effort.

Anything else you want us to know?

If there is a club or an organization that you wish existed at Chapman, be the reason it gets started. I founded the American Sign Language Club when I was at a student there and was so amazed by the positive response it received. You’d be surprised by how many people will support you in your decision, or will be glad that you made it.