Position title: Director of Communication
Majors: Journalism (emphasis in Strategic Communication) & Political Science
Certificates: Digital Studies & Gender and Women’s Studies
Graduation Date: December 2018
How did you end up at HeartSupport?
I began my career as a journalist, and while I was working on a story about Warped Tour, I interviewed someone who worked for HeartSupport, the nonprofit I work for now. I fell in love, and started interning for the company. HeartSupport is a mental health nonprofit rooted in the metal music scene. Our founder is the lead singer of a metal band, and we provide mental health outreach at festivals and online. Our online presence is where we create the most impact, as we have programs, streams and resources to offer those who are struggling.
My favorite part of working at HeartSupport is connecting bands with their fans. We interview a lot of musicians about their mental health experiences and also provide bands with technology and community to support their fans who are struggling.
Eventually, I transitioned out of journalism and decided to go back to school to receive my Masters in mental health counseling. I have continued working at HeartSupport throughout. I love the flexibility it offers me and the relationships I am able to build with some of my favorite bands in the music industry.
What does a typical day in the office look like for you?
I manage social media, navigate influencer & band relationships as well as stream on twitch. This is my part time job. In addition, I am a therapist, fitness instructor & professor of psychology at LaGuardia Community College.
I am currently transitioning more into the music industry and my social media skills have had a huge impact on my marketability. Navigating a few different jobs can be challenging, but I’ve always liked to have a fairly full plate. I am thankful that I enjoy all of the work I do, and my jobs offer me the flexibility I need to continue to juggle. Typically I teach a workout class in the morning, then spend some time doing admin tasks to prepare for my day. Next, I will see a few clients or teach at Laguardia and I’ll usually finish my day with some content creation and HeartSupport work. My google calendar is my best friend and is usually scheduled down to the minute.
How has Digital Studies influenced your career path?
Digital Studies has had a huge impact! I manage the social media for HeartSupport and I wouldn’t be able to do that without the graphic design courses and strategic communication training I received from UW. Because of my diverse media skills, I have been able to provide insight that has increased our digital footprint. Our team is very small, so it’s important that I am able to execute a variety of different video skills including graphic design, video editing, copy writing and digital marketing.
Did you have a favorite Digital Studies professor?
Pat Hastings – I loved all of her classes but especially podcasting! Pat is an incredible professor, who deeply cares for her students. She goes above and beyond and makes it a priority for students to create projects that are interesting to them. In Pat’s classes, I created a podcast about reincarnation, a documentary about sexism, and a documentary about sexual assault. She has worked for years in the media journalism industry and has a wealth of knowledge not to mention she will always make you laugh.
Do you have any advice for current students?
Be teachable. Make relationship building your number one priority. Try new things and enjoy every single second.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career thus far?
I don’t have any huge accolades, but I am really proud of the reporting I did on the Alec Cook Case that was featured in Teen Vogue, and the reporting I did for the Unsolved Podcast at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. I am also incredibly proud that I got to work on Warped Tour and interview some of my favorite musicians.