Katie Treacy ('12)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Katie Treacy: USD Graduation Class of 2012

I graduated from USD in May 2012 with a degree in Communication Studies, and a minor in Gender & Women’s Studies. Unfortunately, while I was at USD I often felt like I was not taken seriously because of my major. Given my track record and work experience since graduating, I strongly advise all Communication Studies majors to ignore the nonsense!

I know more successful people who were Communication Studies majors than any other major from USD. I would not be where I am today without the skills I learned in each of the Communication classes I completed at USD. The COMM professors instilled the importance of a strong work ethic and challenged me to push myself, helping me to build an understanding of the true value of communication. Yes, those 20+ page COMM papers really do pay off folks! In fact, I can’t imagine a better and more applicable major.

Upon entering the workforce after graduation, I learned three things fairly quickly: life is a lot about who you know (the caveat being that no one else will network for you), a strong work ethic sets you apart, and communicating effectively is the key to achieving success.

After graduation I landed a job as an Account & Marketing Coordinator at one of the largest event venues in the San Francisco Bay Area. This was an entry-level position where I truly got my foot in the door. The truth is that this is all you need to start-off a career. I was the first person in the office each morning and the last one to leave each night. Within 3-months, I was promoted to a managerial position, which meant a seat at the table.

When I say I learned things fairly quickly in the real world, it is because young professionals don’t really have a choice. Sink or swim is real. Within the first 24-hours of becoming the Event Sales & Business Development Manager, I was responsible for leading a management meeting, which included our General Manager and Chief Executive Officer. I might add that public speaking had always been terrifying for me, but because of all the practice in our COMM classes I was used to being pushed out of my comfort zone, and of course, learned how to conceal my nervousness. This has proven invaluable as I grow in my career.

I feel fortunate that I am able to communicate successfully because so many people struggle. Communicating effectively and confidently has enabled me to stand out amongst my peers and continues to propel my career forward. I am now 23-years-old, and have recently started a new job as the Communications Manager for a renowned philanthropic organization, as well as serve on another non-profit’s Board of Directors. I could not be more excited about strengthening my communication skills with all of the opportunities ahead!

While USD taught me more than I will ever be able to convey, I owe a lot to the professors in the Communication Department. Particularly, Dr. Leeva Chung and Dr. Larry Williamson. Not because these talented mentors made me realize that being curious is a virtue, but because they instilled the meaning of application and the importance of failure. If I could give advice to current COMM students, it would be to understand how to continually apply the lessons you learn, and that it is better to have tried and failed than to not have tried at all.


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