Last week, the School of Communications at Webster University hosted its Communications Career Series featuring a panel discussion, visiting experts and alumni, and activities designed to help students prepare for successful internships and job searches. CrowdSource COO Erin Steinbruegge served as a panelist and shared insights on how flexible workforces are the future. She challenged the group to think about what this means for students today.
Representing a wide spectrum of businesses, other panelists included Gus Hattrich of Paradowski Creative, Kim Bouldin-Jones of KBJ Consulting, Jeff Keane from Coolfire Studios, Kay O’Neal from Fleishman-Hillard and Amanda Gioia of MasterCard.
The recurring theme woven throughout the conversation was storytelling. Panelists and attendees discussed the importance of knowing how to tell one’s story effectively, whether in a job interview, at a networking event or as an entrepreneur. Students also received invaluable advice about the beginning of their career journeys.
Some helpful takeaways included:
- Broad experience provides a bigger problem-solving toolkit. Remaining in one environment for too long can narrow perspective.
- When interviewing, students should remember that they are there to both expand upon their qualifications and to determine whether the job is one they want. They should ask the interviewer questions to determine whether the company culture and the direct supervisor’s management style are good fits. Does the company respect an entrepreneurial spirit? Do they allow (and encourage!) taking risks?
- Students should be proactive and start networking now – not wait until they graduate and need a job.
- Students should not be afraid to ask for help. When asking for help, they should focus their questions in a way that is relevant not just to their needs but to the individual providing the advice.
- Students should focus on identifying real problems they can help solve for an employer. Expertise comes later. Finding practical, efficient solutions that lead to tangible improvement will give them an advantage over employees who simply follow directions.
Panelists and students alike enjoyed engaging conversations covering a wide array of topics related to the field of Communications and the future of careers in this industry. As a leader in the St. Louis business community, CrowdSource continues to support these types of events and invest in the lives of students in the region.
About the School of Communications at Webster University
The School of Communications at Webster University prepares students to excel as skilled professionals in the global field of communications. It provides theory and practice in media courses framed within a liberal arts-based curriculum, augmented by personalized mentorship and professional development opportunities. Fifteen distinct majors are available at the undergraduate level, and master’s degrees in six diverse fields of communication are offered as well. The school offers both BA and MA programs on the Webster campuses in Geneva, Vienna, London, Leiden, Thailand, and Ghana, as well as in Saint Louis and online.