Meet Christine G. Adamo. Christine is a Communications and Media major, with a minor in Digital Marketing and Design. She will be graduating in the spring of 2016 from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY.
What has your experience in communications been like at Nazareth College? Were there other schools you were considering, and if so, why did you choose this one?
First off, I’m a former Marine. I joined the service for the G.I. Bill benefits – growing up with little opportunity and little hope of affording college on my own. I got my A.A. in Liberal Arts (with honors!) in California, when I was in my 20s. In my 30s, I enrolled at Cal State Long Beach to study Print Journalism. I had to drop out, in my senior year, to move to New York and be closer to family.
The Veteran’s Administration recently helped me resume my studies. Now, in my 40s, I’m not at all the traditional college student. It’s as if I go back to school every decade, trying to wrap things up. While looking into Rochester area schools, Nazareth College stood out for its remarkable relationship with veterans and its support staff’s vested interest in student success and satisfaction.
Naz’s Communication and Media Dept. is top notch, so I couldn’t say no. I’ve grown a ton and gained so much confidence here that I barely recognize myself! The faculty is exceptional, the challenges are exciting and the range of student benefits is mind-boggling. I take classes. I DJ for the campus radio station. I’ve given presentations off campus. I’m an integral part of the Naz community and I love that.
What influenced you to pursue a major/career in communications?
I’ve been a F/T Freelance Writer and Editor since 2006. Prior to that, I edited and wrote for a weekly newspaper in the Kansas City area. Through WriteReviseEdit.com, I work with a worldwide client base on a range of journalistic, business, creative and technical projects. A few of them are local and hired me to edit or proofread essays related to their studies at Naz. And they raved about the school. As I dug further into what it was Nazareth offered, the major that stood out was Communication and Media.
Have you participated in any internships? If so, how many, how were they, and did you find the schools resources to be helpful in helping you find this opportunity?
I’ve put off my internship, hoping to land a paying gig I can leverage into a long-term relationship that will benefit me after I graduate. Our on-campus internship coordinator has been supportive of that, sending me links to jobs which match my professional skill set and personal interests. I follow up on them independently, as I see fit. When the right opportunity comes along? I’ll know it!
What are your future career plans and aspirations?
Me? I want to rule the world – the writing world, of course! All kidding aside, I want to blend my prior studies and experiences with what I’m learning at Naz to offer my clients an even higher level of service and be paid accordingly (if I’m totally honest about it). I plan to stay in close contact with Nazareth College, become an active alumna and continue to say “Yes!” to every great opportunity that comes my way through those affiliations. I’ve gained so much already. Why stop there?
What has been the most challenging aspect of studying communications, and was this something you had originally anticipated?
There’s a common misconception about Communication studies, as a whole, and the term takes on entirely different meanings at different schools. The program at Naz (as it is at various other universities) emphasizes theory, analysis and critique. There’s lots of writing to do, but it differs from writing in a business, creative or journalistic style. I didn’t truly grasp that going into it.
What advice would you give someone else trying to break into this field?
Think outside the box and take an unorthodox approach to delving into Communication and Media topics. By studying phenomena and personalities which intrigue me, I’ve written some of my best work at Nazareth College. Professors find unusual insights and topics more interesting to read about, since it’s less likely someone else would have already researched and written about them. And that’s gratifying.
As an adult, re-entry, transfer student and veteran, I’d advise others like me to embrace every chance to interact with whole new groups of collaborators: your peers, first-time college students, faculty and staff.
Is there anything you wish you had known about this area of study ahead of time before choosing this career path?
Communication and Media isn’t an offshoot of Journalism per se; it’s an academic approach to analyzing and critiquing overt and covert messages hidden in direct mailers, news articles, TV programs, plays, films, music … you name it! The focus isn’t on devising marketing strategies or writing 750-word articles for the campus newspaper/magazine on a regular basis.
There can be some of that, but it’s more often by choice or extracurricular. For example, I write for the campus newspaper (alias: Naz Girl About Town) and have a lot of fun doing that. Comm/Media challenges you in different ways: It’s less practical app, like developing a writing voice or learning AP Style is (a la Print Journalism or Public Relations), and more critical thinking.
It compliments solid writing ability because it forces you to take an inside-out look at the worldwide web of media that entangles us all and to communicate your findings objectively.