How To Market Yourself: Alumni Advice

Guest Blogger Rebecca Porter ’16

As a (graduated) senior (still in denial) I have found it helpful to look at those that were in my shoes before me and see what they have done to get to where they are now. Therefore, for my senior seminar capstone project I wanted to interact with PWR alumni to see where they are now, but more importantly understand how they got there. After weeks of communication with 15 different alumni I have collect tidbits of great advice about skill sets, marketability, and overall life in general about the professional world that I think is really important to share.

Let’s dive in.

Kevin Thompson ’12 shares, “Apply to everything-don’t limit yourself to writing or design. By the time you graduate you should be able to approach any situation and make it work.” Alexa Dysch ’15 agrees by stating, “Our degrees and skill sets enable us to work in any setting that we desire! I think at the core of ever job, you need to communicate with someone, whether a co-worker or a customer, and being able to study and understand that audience and then communicate effectively with them is a priceless tool.”

Their advice reassured me. But let’s keep going. What about when trying to market yourself to others?

Erin Nebel ‘03 said, “First, figure out what the company needs, then explain how your foundation of PWR can help the organization improve, grow and succeed.” Rachel Fishman ’15 builds off of this idea by stating, “emphasize your ability to communicate across diverse audiences and to be innovative with the mediums you use to capture your audiences!”

Alumni have emphasized that PWR majors have strong written and oral communication skills that are supported by knowledge and theories that have been proven effective. Sarah Paterson ’15 states, “PWR makes me an excellent writer and communicator in both verbal and visual contexts. PWR is flexible and can be applied anywhere, which means you are adaptable and ready to pick up new skills or learn about new industries.”

I also asked alumni about how they prepare for an interview. Molly Auger ‘11 tells me, “Rehearse your 30-second elevator speech and self-pitch and “consider your rhetorical appeals and your audience in your cover letters- don’t reiterate what can be discovered from your resume.”

Although squeezing all of your skill sets that you have learned over the past four years can be quite challenging, looking to our PWR alumni and learning how they have successfully done so is extremely helpful and reminds you to think rhetorically through each of your decisions. Why am I doing what I am doing and is this the most effective way?

There is a month left of school so sometimes the most important reminder you can give yourself: just breathe, it will all work out.

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