Volunteering turns into a California career for Kansas native Raya Greenbaum

October 2017, OSU Alumni Spotlight series

Raya Greenbaum, Network Digital Resource Specialist for Best Friends Animal Society, graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Journalism and Broadcasting in 2011.

“Everybody needs someone that knows how to write well and knows how to communicate,” Raya said.

With extensive experience in multiple fields across the communications spectrum, Raya has been working with different companies for different reasons.

Starting her college career by leaving her Douglass, Kansas, hometown and heading to Stillwater with a year’s worth of credits under her belt she felt the need to get all four years of information college can give her.

Raya had time to obtain more knowledge about news editorial, broadcast production, advertising and broadcast journalism majors with a minor in English.

Raya thinks it is important to figure out where you would want to work.

“You have to really figure out what it is you enjoy doing because it makes your life easier,” Raya said. “I feel like you are able to hone in on that and gain the skills you need.”

Volunteering can give experience for a future career or it can lead to a job in the field you want.

“I think anyone can sacrifice an hour to volunteer,” Raya said. “I never worked in a humane society before, I just volunteered with them and they saw that connection.”

Raya volunteered as a photographer for a humane society. When she interviewed for her position at Best Friends Animal Society they saw that she had previously worked with a humane society.

Volunteering is more than just experience, it opens doors to career opportunities.

“I volunteered at a film festival and got a job at a photography museum,” Raya said.

Volunteering is a gateway to opening doors you never thought would open.

Former OSU Daily O’Collegian editor-in-chief learned people management and how to understand in college

October 2017, OSU Alumni Spotlight series

Students come to college to get the education they need for their dream job; it doesn’t always go according to the degree sheet though.

“Sometimes you don’t end up in the field you think you’re going to,” Rhiannon Mako said. “So, look outside the box when you’re applying for jobs because all companies need someone who has really good writing skills.”

Communications degrees open up job opportunities in every industry.

“Look at companies that you’re interested in,” she said. “You might be surprised with what major corporations or organizations have to offer with people who have good writing and editing skills.”

College gives students plenty of opportunities to make memories with friends, while guiding them down the right career path.

Rhiannon spent most of her final two years in the O’Colly offices.

“Whoever got to the newsroom first that day got to play their Pandora station.” Rhiannon said. “It was when Pandora radio got pretty big and we would have music playing and it would be a competition because we all liked different things. That was pretty fun.”

Having experience in the desired field while in college will help with finding a job after college.

“By the time I was done being editor-in-chief, I didn’t really want to write anymore,” Rhiannon said.

The faculty and staff at the School of Media & Strategic Communications gives the opportunities to learn the skills needed to excel in class as well as in the real world.

“I think college taught me a lot of the skills that I needed to develop people management and very good understanding skills,” she said. “It taught me to be flexible and it taught me how important deadlines are.

“I think it makes you a more rounded person because you’re exposed to so many great things in college: experiences, new people.”

Internships help gain experience for students who want to work their desired field. Internships provide opportunities to better skills SMSC has already improved.

“My biggest advice would be to get as many internships as you can while you’re still in school, regardless if they pay or not,” Rhiannon said.

Soldier seeks stories from across the world

October 2017, OSU Alumni Spotlight series

Sgt. Anthony Jones, of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, is from Guthrie, Oklahoma, which is roughly 40 miles away from Oklahoma State University.

“I didn’t go far to go to college but I went around the world to get there,” Anthony said.

Anthony earned his degree in strategic communications in May 2015. Along with being an executive of public affairs for the Oklahoma National Guard, Anthony is a communications specialist for the Edmon Low Library on campus.

“I’ve been around the world,” Anthony said. “I’ve told the army and the soldiers’ story on three continents and seven countries; U.S., Kuwait, Iraq, South Korea, Estonia, … Latvia and Ukraine,” he said.

Anthony has a passion for telling stories.

“OSU and the School of Media and Strategic Communications program has really improved my ability to tell stories,” Anthony said. “That’s what my passion is, is making sure people at home understand the citizen soldier story.”

“Through those classes, I was able to develop better writing skills and story-telling skills through images and video and print pieces,” he said.

Much like the contributors to the Associated Press, Anthony contributes to the government’s own dvidshub.net. Articles, photographs and videos created by the government are copyright free, Anthony said. Anyone can download and use anything that is put on the site.

Professors have the greatest impact on the students of OSU and SMSC.

“A lot of my professors, their classes are gone,” he said. “I really enjoyed professor Ken Kim and Matt Elliot. Those were some classes that challenged me more because I guess they saw more. They pressured me to do more and to work harder on the issues.”

Your college career is a time to hone your skills and prepare for your careers.

“The skills you develop now in whether you are a multimedia journalism major or a strategic communications major,” Anthony said. “Those are the things you’re going to take with you in the workforce. Build good habits now, like working with your contacts and being able to actually reach someone on call.”

“Develop a plan before you call and work through and be able to get what you need from these people for your stories,” Anthony said.

Boston raised student takes agricultural leap to OSU

October 2017, OSU Student Spotlight series

The School of Media and Strategic Communications has a reputation nation-wide.

“My high school teacher told me his alma mater had a fantastic journalism school and he wasn’t wrong,” Tianna Hairston said. “I am from Boston and had to do a lot of research in this university if I was honestly going to consider moving 1,600+ miles and, it was the SMSC program that program that brought me to Oklahoma State.”

Working for a major corporation while in school is an advantage over the competition.

“I had the opportunity to work together for the New England Sports Network as well as the Boston Red Sox with a portfolio of my work that was mostly done in the classroom,” Tianna said. “The work I have done with organizations here at Oklahoma State set my resume apart from the rest and is crucial to get jobs in higher markets.

“It is also good to know what you learn in the classroom is applied in the future,” Tianna said.

Students may not realize how much of an impact class projects have on their college career.

“Shane Hoffman’s class was one of the best classes I have taken,” Tianna said. “I would have to say the feature story project [was most impactful].”

“It was my first time doing a feature, and my group traveled about three hours and captured 45 minutes of footage that we ultimately used on 20 seconds of,” Tianna said. “[It] was infuriating to me, but it was one [hell of a] shot, and it brought the story together allowing us to tell this man’s story and that made it all worth it.”

SMSC clubs and organizations are opportunities for hands-on experience and real-world challenges.

“Get involved,” Tianna said. “I have been a part of the Association for Women in Sports Media, which connected me with new people.

“I have also helped on sets for OStateTV and Pioneer Media.”

Being a freshman at a new university that’s over 1,000 miles away from home isn’t as dire as it seems.

“Don’t be afraid of the future, and don’t be upset if things don’t work according to plan,” Tianna said. “Everything in time falls into place, and you will make deadlines.”

Reworking post-graduation plans is completely normal.

“The ultimate goal is to have my own and operate a free form radio show for female sports fans and women in sports media,” Tianna said. “The hope is to have the show nationally syndicated and maybe picked up by a TV station.”