Tomorrow, the UCSB Communication Department will host their fifth annual Career Day as part of the All Gaucho Reunion Weekend, beginning at 12:30 p.m. in the Corwin Pavilion’s Lagoon Plaza.
Over 30 alumni will be returning to discuss their career experiences, offer advice and add perspective on future choices for over 300 communication students. The participating alumni currently work in a variety of fields including marketing, law, entertainment, investment management, high tech industries and advertising, and they represent a variety of companies such as Google, LiveNation, Citrix, Fox Sports and Disney.
Alumni panel sessions will begin at 1:00 p.m. and will continue until the closing reception from 3:30 to 4:00 p.m.
Cynthia Ni, second-year communication major and the communication department PR and media assistant, said Career Day focuses on informing students about the opportunities in the communication field but also enhances relations between students and alumni.
“It is all about building a strong community connection between current communication students and communication alumni,” Ni said. “They really know where the students are at. They have a connection and understanding with them because of their common background.”
According to Linda Putnam, communication department chair, the event benefits students in terms of providing a vision for potential career paths available to them after graduation that require skills learned from courses provided by the communication department.
“It is not a career fair where companies show what jobs they have. It is really more around career education and not job recruitment,” Putnam said. “It is much more about learning about the careers out there and how communication skills and training can be applied to those kinds of jobs. However, usually each year, we do have someone coming back who has made contact and got a job out of this event or first heard about their job or company at this event.”
The alumni will participate in two sets of panel discussions based on their specific field and area of skill application. In addition to Q&A sessions after each presentation, there will be mingling and networking sessions before, between and after the discussion periods in order to provide students with networking experience.
One of the discussion panels, titled “Getting Your Foot in the Door Those First Few Years,” hosts speakers who graduated with the UCSB communication major within three years or less, according to Career Day Committee Chair Anna Jansma.
“We think it will be particularly helpful for students to hear from those alumni who they can really identify with because they are so close to where they are now,” Jansma said.
Jansma said Career Day has been very successful so far, and more young alumni are returning to share their experiences. The event has doubled in size since its establishment five years ago, requiring a move in location from Phelps Hall to the University Center and Corwin Pavilion to accommodate its expansion.
“Dean Oliver sees this event as a model for other departments and a unique opportunity for students,” Jansma said.