The day after our Thanksgiving celebration can bring more holiday excitement, or thanks giving can simply continue. As I think of the UCM PR program’s alumni and the powerful positive impact they’ve made since leaving us, I find myself deeply thankful. They make my job easier and, in fact, are often the key to student success.
Alumni engagement plays a vital role in higher ed success. Our alumni have a history of making profound impacts on our program and in students’ lives. While hard to find just the right words to tell how important you are to what we do, it’s still worth a try. In a nutshell, we are deeply grateful and admit that we can’t do it without you!
Luckily, the UCM public relations alumni are highly engaged with us and willing to mentor student after student. It’s an amazing culture of giving back. Why, just in the fall 2017 semester more than 50 alumni engaged with us directly in some way, whether that be visiting campus and speaking to students, arranging internships, participating in our annual PR Pro Day, visiting with interested students via Skype or Google Hangouts, serving as class clients, mentoring our Innovative PR student agency, providing professional advisory board insights, teaching for us in an adjunct capacity, providing behind-the-scenes access to businesses, giving generously to the UCM PR program fund, or serving as an IPR client. In fact, three #teamInnovativePR specialists just returned from a fantastic #EngagedLearning and #LearningtoaHigherDegree experience in Los Angeles, all led by alumnus and Fuegorita client Tony Winders. Visiting FOXLA and Ogilvy, conducting observational research at prominent pizza restaurants, and brainstorming for a hot pepper blend client, are all something to talk about. It’s opportunities like these provided to IPR specialists that help us produce ideal graduates.
Let me put on my official hat. Our program’s purpose is to transform students’ lives and produce ideal public relations graduates. Here’s our ideal public relations graduate description:
“a strategic researcher, implementer, communicator and evaluator. The graduate is a skilled researcher who asks questions that help solve strategic problems/goals. After finding the answers, the graduate then puts those answers into action items that will contribute to the organization’s or client’s bottom-line. In order to be successful and to get results, the graduate understands how to communicate with his/her intended audience. Simply put, the graduate knows what to say, how to say it and when to say it. Speaking of results, the graduate also knows how to evaluate his/her action item’s success. How can the graduate do all of this? Because he/she has skills – skills learned and honed in experiential learning environments (i.e., the classroom, internships, professional conferences, etc.). The dedicated student masters several professional skill-sets before graduation.” UCM PR assessment documents
We work hard to produce ideal PR graduates, but we necessarily depend on our alumni to do it.
So, UCM PR alumni, hear us clearly — we offer our thanks.
Please stay involved. And, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.