As a senior, Serena Sessoms ’13 was named the Outstanding Graduating Senior in Public Relations.
She is now an account manager at GFX International, a Grayslake, Illinois-based design company that specializes in store designs. In her position, she must manage all day-to-day communications with multiple clients, understand her clients’ needs, and execute ongoing design and print production projects.
In other words, she’s using all parts of her triple major in communication, graphic design, and public relations.
What have you enjoyed most about your career?
“The ability to learn more within the print production industry, and never having two days be the same. My job is always changing depending on client needs and wants. This gives me a chance to think outside the box and problem-solve on a daily basis.”
How did Carthage prepare you?
Ms. Sessoms mentions three aspects of her Carthage education that have helped her the most: First, “being part of the CDM Department at Carthage, and having the background not only in graphic design but in communication and public relations fields as well.” Second, “being given the tools to succeed from the start.” And third, “having various professors who are so personable you want to turn to them for advice and help.”
How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?
“Coming from a liberal arts school has helped me greatly in my career. Not only do I have skills directly related to my field, but I have the skills to go above and beyond.
“Being in the design field isn’t all about designing. You have to be able to talk with clients and communicate in ways that will help you understand their needs, and in ways that clients will fully understand as well.
“Carthage makes you think outside of your field and see things from different perspectives. You are not isolated in your specific fields all four years of school. This allows you to broaden your background knowledge, and gives you an upper hand in the corporate world.”
Tips for current Carthage students:
“Don’t take anything Carthage has to offer for granted. Use the resources they provide. Utilize the Office of Career Services to help find that right internship for you. Reach out to previous alumni who are currently working in their fields. Network with alumni as much as possible when they are on campus.”
Favorite Carthage memories:
“My favorite Carthage memory would have to be joining Pi Theta. The group of girls that I had, and still have, the opportunity to call my sisters helped me through school more than they will ever know. We were a sisterhood that not only helped me break out of my shell but helped me get to where I am now.”