East Tennessee State University has been preparing students for successful careers in the professional world since 1911.
One example of a recent graduate who launched a successful career from the Department of Media and Communication is Taylor Joyce, who graduated in 2016 with a major in Advertising and Public Relations, a concentration within the Department.
While at ETSU, she was also vice president of the ETSU student American Advertising Federation from 2015 to 2016. Since graduating, Joyce has enjoyed her position as a Marketing Assistant for the Naked Bee, a company that sells an affordable high-quality, natural personal care line (website).
When asked how she thought ETSU’s Advertising and Public Relations program helped her start a successful career in the corporate world, Joyce said, “ETSU did an excellent job at preparing me for the professional world and was an integral part of finding an internship.”
Joyce then commented on how her capstone class prepared her for designing marketing campaigns for real businesses. “The first time I took my Advertising/Public Relations Capstone class with Dr. Waters, I was introduced to Carol Conduff, the founder of The Spine Health Foundation.”
“I was the leader of my group and our task was to make an advertising campaign that included a thorough client analysis and research on competitors, advertising/public relations tactics, a strategic plan for social media marketing and everything that The Spine Health Foundation would need to implement an efficient marketing campaign.”
As a result of this connection, Joyce eventually secured an internship at The Spine Health Foundation, where she helped design effective social media platforms, plan the Foundation’s annual Derby Day event and create graphic design work for various projects. Joyce acknowledges that companies in today’s market are looking for more than a degree.
“While ETSU was an integral part of getting my internship and teaching me some of the skills I have now, none of this would have been possible without the countless hours I put into furthering my own skill set.”
“I did more than what was asked of me during class—I spent hours on Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere/Final Cut Pro because I wanted to be the best, and then it came to the point that I was.”
“I was able to show my peers tips and tricks that more advanced graphic designers at ETSU weren't even aware of. I didn't settle for pulling images off Google—I took my own pictures and put little pieces together to make something incredible that was one hundred percent my own work.”
Joyce continues, “Coming up with new ideas sometimes took me staring at a blank Photoshop canvas for hours. All my best work was put on my personal portfolio website that I spent weeks working on to make perfect. I created a beautiful resume and cover letter than was exactly tailored to the job I was applying for.”
“These things are tedious, time consuming, and can be downright boring, but they are things that must be done if you want to find a job in your field and have a successful career. This is the kind of thinking and initiative that employers want.”
The professors and staff in the Department of Media and Communication dedicate their time and their resources to helping students who are seeking opportunities to develop their skills in the professional world. As Joyce said, motivation and drive must come from within an individual student, but ETSU is a stepping stone to a successful, inspiring career in Media and Communications for those who are willing to put in the work.