By Maria Singh
Cal Poly Pomona’s Department of Communication hosted its annual COM Day event on Thursday, which featured speakers from various industries and occupations.
The department’s special events planning class orchestrated the event to provide students with the opportunity to gather insightful tips for improving their skills to obtain a fulfilling career during and after college.
Julia Ruziecki, a fourth-year communication student and a member of the programs and speakers committee, discussed her goals for this year’s theme: Mission COMplete.
“We weren’t as stressed out as maybe we should’ve been, but we feel like the speakers we did find were really relatable and they could not only help the communication students, but they’re able to speak to the whole entire campus,” said Ruziecki. “And that was our main goal. We didn’t just want it to be communication majors at our event. We wanted the entire campus to come.”
According to Ruziecki, this year’s event is dedicated to students who are looking to finish their college careers and utilize what they have learned at CPP to make a successful career for themselves.
The event was broken down into six different sessions with 14 different speakers. Students were able to listen to advice regarding resumes, traffic on social media and much more.
Keynote speakers included Hailey Branson-Potts and Sarah Parvini, writers for the Los Angeles Times who are on the Pulitzer Prize-winning team for their breaking news coverage of the 2015 San Bernardino attack.
The two journalists described their experiences while they covered a volatile and delicate story under a national spotlight.
“There’s this battle between ‘yes we’re journalists’ and there’s a way in how you would react in that situation, yet the other reality is ‘yes, we do have to talk to these people,’ but we at least, I think, try to do it in the nicest way we possibly can,” said Parvini.
Despite what their careers entail, Parvini and Branson-Potts described that everything they go through is worth it in the end.
“It’s a fun and interesting career,” said Branson-Potts. “No day is going to be the same, and you’re witnessing history. It’s tough. You’re going to work really hard, and you’re going to have to say ‘yes’ to every opportunity. You know it never comes at the right time.”
Parvini and Branson-Potts further encouraged students to follow their dreams and complete their life mission.
“You have to always be willing to go the extra mile,” said Branson-Potts. “Work hard and never think the story is beneath you. You’re never too good for a story, and I think the best reporters are ones that are always humble. If that’s what you want to do, if that’s what you love, then that’s good for you.”
Other speakers included individuals from industries such as social media and public affairs, financial and governmental relations and entrepreneurial businesses.
David Porges (’86, communication), a former worker for one of the nation’s largest business services firms, Deloitte, spoke about key issues regarding social responsibility characteristics.
According to Porges, what makes for great success is purpose, preparation, mannerism and continuously improving on skills associated in any workforce environment. In addition, it is about what an individual can do for the greater community.
“What can [you] give back to the community and how?” asked Porges to the audience. “It’s really about filling a well of your purpose.”
Students were also able to receive a free professional headshot in between the different guest speakers, along with access to a photo booth session.
An award ceremony and a raffle concluded the all-day event in the Bronco Student Center’s URSA Minor.
Veonte Barnes, a fourth-year communication student and the chair of the special events planning team, stated that the event was made possible due to hard work and preparation.
“I think I learned a lot about team dynamics and managing several moving parts of an event,” said Barnes. “There’s so much that goes into it and that goes far beyond, you know, what food we’re going to get and who we’re going to have come speak, and through that challenge you learn a lot because it’s so new.”
Barnes hoped that students gained professional knowledge that will not only benefit them as students, but as individuals for the future.
“What’s in it for students is industry professionals perspectives, you know,” said Barnes. “We get so much theory on a daily basis and to have someone who’s already done it and already doing it to come and tell us the honest truth, one they’re not paid, so their motivations comes from a true purpose of wanting to share something valuable with the students.”
Courtesy of CPP Communications Department
COM Day 2016
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