Many students are curious to know where they can take a degree in communication after college.

The answer is……anywhere. Riley Byrne, a senior Strategic and Corporate Communication major spent some time talking with us about how she will be using her degree to make a difference in the world through the Peace Corps.

Rylie ByrnsHow did you become interested in the Peace Corps?

I had been thinking about what I want to do after I graduate and I started to reflect on what brings me joy. I’ve always known that I want to work in the non-profit sector especially throughout taking my SCC courses here at Chapman, and starting off in a corporate position didn’t feel right to me. I knew then that I wanted to make a global difference. After an inspiring conversation with my sister, who is also in non-profit, I decided to apply for the Peace Corps! 

I’ve heard the Peace Corps is very competitive.

It is! The application process was intimidating at first but I knew I had perfected a strong resume in my SCC Capstone class. I first sent in an application and resume, then after being selected, I had a two-hour phone interview at 7 am! 

How did you feel about the interview?

I felt completely confident! Overall, the School of Communication provided me with a lot of professional skills training and thanks to the STAR interviewing technique that I learned in Professor Andrea Weber’s class I felt like I really had an advantage during the process. I was able to speak eloquently about philanthropy and even discuss the growth I’ve made from my failures without faltering. 

Now that you’ve been accepted, what will you be doing in the Peace Corps?

For now, am I’m looking forward to an assignment that I will likely receive within the year. I’m not sure where I will be placed but I’m ready for wherever this adventure takes me.

That sounds like a once in a lifetime opportunity and quite the endeavor.

I am very excited and, yes, a bit nervous. Moving to a new country can be very intimidating to many, however, I grew up in both Taiwan and in Bangladesh, (my family is very adventurous) so I see this as the next chapter in my adventure.

Do you feel prepared for the work ahead of you working for the Peace Corps?

I do. Wherever I go, I will be working with a small group of individuals and with all the classes I’ve had in the School of Communication I feel prepared to join the Peace Corps team. Over my four years, I’ve maneuvered good teams, bad teams, lazy teams, rude teams, and overly excited teams. Because of the challenges I’ve had to overcome in different team projects, I feel confident in my organizational skills and my communication (two pretty important things when moving to a country where you team up with people who don’t share your language).