BY: Casey Markiewicz
For this week’s Alumni Spotlight, I was able to get in touch with Lauren Seigfried to see what she’s up to now. Lauren graduated in 2010 with a BA in Communication Arts, concentrating in advertising and public relations. Right now Lauren is a Marketing Director for an Architecture, Engineering, and Interior Design firm. Here’s a glimpse into how she got there.
Casey: What clubs/organizations were you involved in within the Communication Arts department?
Lauren: I was heavily involved in PRSSA and served as Secretary for our chapter. It was one of the most valuable experiences I had while in college because it exposed me to so many different opportunities–attending industry conferences, event planning, press release writing, fundraising planning and coordination, media pitches, I could go on and on.
Casey: Do you feel this involvement helped prepare you for your career?
Lauren: PRSSA was an excellent vehicle for developing collaboration and teamwork skills. Every event and initiative that we planned required considerable effort from each member. It provided me with the opportunity to learn where my strengths were and the areas of growth that I needed to develop. Working alongside peers who were driven and motivated helped motivate me to do my best work, regardless of the task.
Casey: What was your first job out of college like?
Lauren: My first job out of college was for a dermatology group. The year I graduated, 2010, was a pretty tough time for the job market. After a year, I was fortunate enough to be hired at Misericordia University as their Electronic Communications Coordinator (a more antiquated way of saying “digital communications coordinator”). After I had been hired, I remember my boss telling me about the amount of people who had been interviewed for the position and their background–one candidate was a former director for a design house. My advice to future grads is this: you may not find your dream job immediately, and that’s OK. You can take a job and still pursue a dream. It’s just going to take some work to get there, but once you get there, you’ll know you earned it and you will appreciate it that much more.
Casey: What’s your current job like?
Lauren: I’m currently a Marketing Coordinator for an Architecture, Engineering, and Interior Design firm. I organize proposals, develop brochures and presentations for client interviews, and in the year that I have been here, have redesigned the company website. I also share the responsibility of managing the firm’s social media with other members of the Marketing Department. It is definitely unique and very different from the marketing roles I have held with other organizations. This role has taught me how to better prioritize and organize tasks as I’m typically on very tight deadlines. It’s definitely a very fast-paced environment that forces you to think on your feet at all times.
Casey: What are some of your long term career goals?
Lauren: This has always been a tough question for me to answer. Working in marketing, particularly the digital media space, there’s so much variety in roles and responsibilities that you have a lot of flexibility to move into one and try it out and if it doesn’t engage you, try something else. It has always been my goal to be a lifelong learner. I read a lot in my free time, and I’ve always taken advantage of professional development opportunities such as conferences, lectures, non-credit courses and certifications, whenever those opportunities are present. It’s the best way to keep yourself and your skill set relevant.
Casey: Do you have any advice for current Communication Arts students?
Lauren: Try to get involved with as many internships as possible, when possible. Even if it’s something as short as a semester, it really helps when you can show that you have some experience in your field when applying to jobs for the first time. If you can’t commit to an internship, help organize an event, start a blog, or look for freelance writing or design opportunities that fit within your schedule. Whatever it is, just try to soak up as many experiences as you can. It will help make you appear motivated and engaged and let employers know that you intend to take your career seriously.
Casey Markiewicz is a freshman Public Relations/Advertising major. When she’s not in class or writing for Frame Your Future, she’s getting involved in the PRSSA/AAF organization.