The featured image was created by Alumni Fellow Rosemary Ponnekanti for the Comm Lead Movie Night, an annual event hosted by the Fellows.
You might be well aware of the opportunities available to you while you’re in the Communication Leadership program, but did you know the journey doesn’t have to stop after you put on a cap and gown?
The Alumni Fellows program was established in 2012 and seeks to centralize the Comm Lead talent pool by connecting alumni with current students. As a Fellow, you have the opportunity to expand the work you’ve done in the program, further develop collaborations with faculty and staff, and mentor incoming Comm Lead students. Fellows also teach skills-based workshops, host events, and serve as resources for students looking to make connections in the professional world.
Fellows can expect to commit about eight hours per month on activities, which could include anything from planning and teaching a workshop, attending a First Friday event, meeting one-on-one with current or prospective students or attending a Fellows team meeting. The new Fellows cohort will begin in July 2016 and conclude as fully-contributing Fellows by the end of June 2017.
Only sixFellow slots open each year, and the application process is competitive. But if you’re interested in staying involved with the Comm Lead community, making connections with current students and shaping the program experience for the next generation of Comm Leaders, the Alumni Fellows program might be for you.
Applications to join the Fellows program are due Thursday, May 19 by midnight to Carolyn Higgins (email@example.com). You must be a graduate of the Comm Lead program to apply.
If you’re still on the fence, current Alumni Fellow, Comm Lead grad and former Flip the Media Editor Carolyn Higgins lays out three common reasons people don’t apply to the Fellows program, and why they should ignore that little voice in their head and apply anyway. Time for some debunking!
Reason 1: “I don’t have any particular skills to contribute.”
We’ve all come up to a certain level in the creation of content over the whole media spectrum, but you compare yourself to other Comm Leaders who make videos professionally or who have been recognized for excellence in writing or radio. How will you compete?
Answer: Don’t. Some fellows contribute by using their insightful abilities to help design non-skill sessions, or by using their strategic storytelling skills to publicize our activities. Are you an idea person?
I’ve loved being a part of a tightly knit, talented group of Alumni Fellows. Everyone contributes and brings their A game to the events that we plan, such as our Ugly Sweater First Friday in December, the International Student Meet-up earlier this year and most recently, our Movie Night at the Jewelbox Theater. So would I recommend being a Comm Lead Alumni Fellow? My answer is a resounding yes. — Alumni Fellow Connie Rock
There’s nothing an ever-changing program like the Fellows needs like a creative thinker. Organizational smarts? We need ‘em. We need whatever you have to give, and if you didn’t have something to give, you wouldn’t have been unleashed as a Comm Lead grad.
Reason 2: “I’m SO busy.”
Answer: Let’s get that one out of the way. Are you not going to be busy in five years? Ten years? Think of all those things in your busy life. Which of those things will afford you the opportunities that the Fellows program does? And it’s a 12-month term. Twelve months of your life to participate in a program with other professionals you can respect, learn from, give back to, and enjoy as friends.
Reason 3: “My career is demanding/I’m not sure what I want to do yet and need to figure it out.”
Answer: Yep, I hear both things in equal measure. If you’re at your professional pinnacle, or feel that you are on your way to it, please think about sharing your perspective and your wisdom with the program. Being active in professional organizations is an important part of success in other fields – and it is in ours as well. And if on the other hand, you are still searching, you’ll never have an opportunity like this one again. Enhanced access to alumni and faculty, and the camaraderie of your peers are invaluable to career-builders, as is the free five-credit class that you are entitled to attend during or within a generous period after your term as a Fellow ends (18 months!). Plus, experience in applying for things is an essential skill, especially for creatives. We just gave you another opportunity to practice. You’re welcome.
For a full Fellows job description and application, email Carolyn Higgins at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also post a question in the Ask a Comm Lead Fellow Facebook page.