Charting a career path with a French accent

Have you ever considered living and working in another country?

Our alumna Gina Dunn, CPS’15, did just that, moving to Paris in 2016 and applying her communication expertise as an independent consultant. In this interview, I ask Gina about her decision to work in Paris, her impressions of French communication styles, and the value of her learning journey here at the College of Professional Studies.

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CommTech – what’s all the fuss about?

As communicators – and communication educators – staying on top of the trends that are driving our field is imperative.  One those trends: The explosion of digital technologies.

As organizations increasingly use data in all aspects of the enterprise, in how they make decisions, and engage all stakeholders, communicators will have to become more comfortable working with and interpreting data.

What are we doing about it?

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Stories create experiences and make careers

For Dr. K. Dawn Rutledge, who graduated from our program in 2012, storytelling has been a constant thread throughout her life and career as a communicator. Dawn vividly remembers entering a poetry-writing contest in eighth grade. “I actually won first place in that contest, and so my love of writing started very early. I was also fascinated with how people like Oprah Winfrey could move their audiences with compelling stories.”

That love of storytelling has led to a long professional career in communication in a wide range of sectors: First a stint in journalism, then work in the nonprofit, corporate, governmental, entertainment and educational sectors. Now, as a consultant and educator, Dawn enjoys helping others tell their stories.

In a recent interview, Dawn describes three stops along her journey and shares some excellent advice for communicators at the beginning of their careers.

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Northeastern’s Virtual PR Firm — redefining the term ‘experiential’

We’ve just finished the first year of our Virtual Public Relations Firm (VPRF). Based on both achievements and feedback from everyone involved, it was a good one that has us planning for bigger and better things as the new school year approaches.

Nearly three dozen students participated in some phase of VPRF work on behalf of two clients: Neuron, a San Franciso-based UX design firm founded by Northeastern alumni and the university’s own Biopharmaceutical Analysis Training Laboratory (BATL).

For our clients, the experience was similar to working with a small PR agency helping them to increase brand awareness and reach new audiences. Under the guidance of instructors, who also are industry professionals, the students first developed a research report, then created a strategic PR plan, and ultimately designed and delivered a wide range of promotional content.

“I think the students were superb,” said Jared Auclair, Director of BATL. “They produced really high quality work.”

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Illustration of transformational learning with unexpected rewards

Finding My Place in the Cross-Cultural Communication Field

It was three years ago that my career gained what I thought was to be my launch into the global market. After graduating from college and achieving my dream job of working at a huge corporation in Tokyo, the unexpected occurred. Within six months, I quit and moved back to my home country, the USA.

Mika wearing a yukata, a Japanese summer kimono, during study abroad in Japan.

Deciding to leave so quickly shocked not only my community, but also myself.  I had spent four years learning about Japanese language and culture.  Having studied abroad, researched, and interned in Japan. I had braced myself for expected sexism in the workplace, strong drinking culture, and even power harassment. However, the one thing that was I had not prepared for was my own lack of cultural agility.

Despite knowing what the Japanese perspective might be, I found myself defining right and wrong. I would often deem Japanese corporate culture to be unhealthy for its collective mindset, in contrast to my valuing individuality and freedom as someone raised in the USA. When I ended up leaving Japan to pursue a career in cross-cultural communication, I came away from the experience subconsciously wanting to fix Japan.  I had a vision and a strategic plan; next steps were to gain the tools.

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Why I chose CPS to pursue my dream! Part One in a Three Part Series

Overwhelmed, confused, and nervous… I was sitting in front of my computer screen at 2:00 a.m. on a Tuesday night (2014), staring at a list of hundreds of schools around the world that appeared in the search result for “Masters Degree in Communications.”

Education has always been my priority, and I have an endless curiosity and restlessness for learning something new at all times. I had a dream to be the first generation international degree holder in my family. After thinking about it for a couple of years, I made my decision to pursue my dream that night! Continue reading “Why I chose CPS to pursue my dream! Part One in a Three Part Series”

How a networking strategy pays dividends

Our Corporate and Organizational Communication program attracts a diverse body of students from around the world, drawn by the opportunity to study in Boston and make connections with a global network of students and alumni. As the lead faculty for our Public Relations concentration, I interviewed a recent alumnus, Pablo Cateriano Llosa. Pablo works in his family-owned PR firm in Lima, Peru.

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How can Cultural Audits influence the Information Age?

As we forge into this Information Age and World of Robotics, the concept of Human Literacy has been introduced to the stage. What is Human Literacy? Northeastern University President Aoun has proposed Human Literacy to mean our unique abilities to adapt, collaborate, and offer empathy in comparison to computational literacy generated through artificial intelligence. This new use of the term human literacy is an example of a cultural linguistic adjustment in professional studies within higher education. This is where the idea of a cultural audit takes footing. So, what is a cultural audit?

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My capstone experience

I am a learner. I love reading articles, books, taking courses – you name it. If I can learn from it, I’m in.

But, even so, it took me a while to go back and get my master’s degree. I knew it would be an investment, and because of that, I wanted to choose wisely. I left college years ago, went on to have a series of great jobs, and slowly came back around to the idea of going back to school.

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Behind the scenes: More than a press release

Surprise! There is more to corporate communications than writing press releases. We showcased this with five Boston-based graduate students, who joined the MilliporeSigma Corporate Communications team for a day. As alumni from the Corporate and Organizational Communication’s program, we know how exciting it can be to apply classroom learning in the real world.

Yilei Zhao, a current student in the MS in Corporate and Organizational Communication, is seated on the far left

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