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UC Communication alumnae experience leads to role as Public Affairs Aide for Mayor John Cranley

Written by Yasmin Chilton (Communication BA ’14  | Communication MA ’15)

It is hard to believe I haven’t been a student in a classroom for over two years. Trust me when I say, time.truly.flies. I’ll be honest and share that after graduation, my vision wasn’t clear for what was next. I wasn’t eager to jump into a job, and I wasn’t worried about the ramifications of that. I knew I needed stability, but the way to achieve it wasn’t my priority. I consider myself more adventurous than cautious, and this lifestyle is comfortable to me despite the risks. In light of these realizations however, when I reflect and look at all the opportunities I am afforded and the achievements I am able to claim, I recognize a ringing truth my mom instilled in me at a very young age: my steps are ordered.

When I decided I wanted to major in Communication, it wasn’t based on a job opportunity or how to shape a strong future; it was guided by my interests. I’ve always enjoyed the power of transformative messaging, and I knew the communication curriculum offered me an opportunity to delve into case studies that reviewed many points in time where messaging was critical for business, social justice, and politics. The same was true for my extracurriculars. I loved event planning so I joined the Programs & Activities Council (PAC); I wanted to be involved in the advancement of my university so I joined the Student Alumni Council. (SAC) These and other groups I became affiliated with helped me learn, develop, and grow. I didn’t have a complete plan, but I knew the type of information and people I wanted to learn from while at UC, and I made it happen to the best of my ability.

Collectively, all my experiences allowed me to expand my social horizon, build interpersonal skills, and gain confidence sharing my thoughts with others. It also directly placed me in spaces to exercise my practical knowledge in opportunities I enjoyed. By walking in faith that I was doing what I was supposed to do, a line of direction was designed along an unfamiliar path to continue to advance personally and professionally. I followed the lead of my interests and let the rest take care of itself. While this is only a snapshot of my journey, I know the overarching message applies, my steps are ordered… and yours are too!

You are truly in the place you are supposed to be, and looking back I know my formative years in college set me up for opportunities I found later in life. As the Public Affairs Aide for Mayor John Cranley, I know that studying communication prepared me for this role. I am able to contribute to mass messaging that resonates with people in a creative way, and on the converse understand what underlying issues are affecting constituents by listening with a critical ear. I get to showcase my public relations skills often on social media and working with the press, and I constantly find myself doing what I’m passionate about, connecting with others to create positive change. As I reflect, being in a job I love, having the stability I need, and making a difference leading groups that are important to me showed me the power of this notion of faith. Believing my steps are ordered gave me motivation to continue to put learning at the forefront of all I do, and trust where preparation and opportunity take me. If we all navigate life with this outlook, it’s sure to get more exciting, and a lot more positive. Adventure awaits!


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