Credentials: Alliant Energy
Position title: Communications Partner II
Majors: Journalism (emphasis in Reporting) & Communication Arts (Communication Science & Rhetorical Studies track)
Certificate: Digital Studies
Graduation Date: May 2015
How did you end up at Alliant Energy?
My career started in sports journalism, making a few stops around Wisconsin as I worked my way up. In January of 2020, I decided to get out of the journalism industry due to burnout. Since then, I’ve worked in temporary positions until I found my footing at Alliant Energy about a year ago. My time in journalism showed me that I wanted to work in a fast-paced environment, ideally for a larger company that would allow me to grow and contribute with a larger team. Journalism also helped me in two prominent ways: It showed me how to work on daily deadlines under pressure; and I honed in on news judgment, which allows me to prioritize and value projects or events through the eyes of media or residents to gauge its importance.
What does a typical day in the office look like for you?
I strategize with members of our Marketing & Communications team on how we can best portray Alliant Energy through traditional and new media outlets. This includes the usual press releases and media pitching, as well as website, social and newsletter content. My role is focused on targeted, local media throughout Wisconsin, which means I’ve built relationships with reporters across the state to help tell our story.
How has Digital Studies influenced your career path?
Digital Studies, combined with my Comm Arts classes, really allowed me to dive into the technical components of my roles, whether it was integrating analytics into decision-making or utilizing content management systems. Having those skills, like understanding how to use WordPress, allowed me to quickly figure out how to navigate more complex systems throughout my professional career.
Understanding the history of the digital environment and what it means for the world today has allowed me to be one of the more tech savvy employees in each of my roles and granted me the ability to focus on what I enjoy doing and assist my coworkers who are less familiar with digital tools.
Do you have any advice for current students?
The best advice I can give current students is to expand outside of your comfort zone and be confident in your education. The breadth of knowledge and experience I gained through Digital Studies made me a valuable contributor in my job since Day 1.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career thus far?
While the sports editor at the Daily Union in Fort Atkinson, WI, I was recognized for having the third-best sports section in the state from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association. At the age of 26 and competing with major metros, I believe our staff of two was punching above our weight class to provide readers with an enjoyable product.