Comm. Week brings opportunity to students


by Megan Mcinroy

As homecoming and midterms end, students in the School of Communication and Journalism are ready for another week of events.

Communication Week, Oct. 19 – 23, brings industry professionals, students and faculty together and aims to educate students studying all areas of communication. Additionally, it gives them opportunities to manage their resumés and portfolios, network and problem solve.

“We want to help you feel prepared for your future,” said senior Nate Gilbraith, president of MSUM’s Public Relations Student Society of America chapter.

PRSSA is hosting the Monday, Wednesday and Friday events; however, Gilbraith said Communication Week is not just for PRSSA members.

Gilbraith said he wants to encourage all students in the School of Communication and Journalism to participate.

“We’ll be working with each other for the rest of our lives, so why not start now?,” he said.

This is the third annual Communication Week PRSSA is hosting. Gilbraith said he hopes to increase attendance and diversity this year.

“[My goal is to] let the students know, from the School of Communication and Journalism, as well as other related studies, that this is happening, that this is available to them and that they really should be taking advantage of these opportunities,” Gilbraith said.

Merrie Holtan, Director of the Marcil Center for Innovative Journalism and an assistant professor, said she also hopes students will attend the events.

“[Students] can hear what real life is like in the workplace if they’ve chosen to do PR and advertising,” Holton said. “They’re gonna hear the journeys of other people telling [them] they’ve had their ups and downs.”

Holtan received her Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing from MSUM, but this will be her first Communication Week.

This will be mass communications sophomore Cayne McCaskell’s second year of involvement with the week of events. McCaskell said he appreciates the School of Communication and Journalism’s offerings for students.

“There’s different opportunities here and there that pop up,” he said. “We have the Communications Week. It’s a good one.”

McCaskell hopes to build his portfolio, network and gain experience before he graduates. He said he’ll be able to accomplish those goals because of the faculty he interacts with.

“Our professors come from real world experience,” he said. “They have that professional experience to give to us.”

On Monday, an interview panel will take place at 3 p.m. and a resume review will be shortly after at 3:45 p.m. in MacLean 262. Members of MSUM’s Career Development Center will be on the panel. MSUM’s AdClub will be hosting a portfolio building session at 3:45 p.m. in Frick 258.

Tuesday will be the American Advertising Federation’s Pro-Am day. Registered students will shadow professionals in their field of interest and a luncheon will be between shadowing shifts.

Wednesday, students will Skype with Maren Hamilton, the Associate Community Manager at Starbucks in the Greater Seattle area, at 3 p.m. in MacLean 262. Hamilton received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from Concordia in 2012.

Thursday, MSUM’s first Sports Communication Conference will run from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the CMU and Nemzek Fieldhouse. Dave Mona, Weber Shandwick’s former chairman, will be speaking. There will also be breakout sessions.

Friday, 9:30 – 11 a.m., PRSSA members will create hypothetical crisis situations for companies and celebrities in MacLean 262. Students will need to assess and fix public relations crises.

Photo by Ethan Degree •

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