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Media & Communication Alumni Help Prepare Students for Workforce

The former Red Raiders hosted free career development conferences in Dallas/Fort Wort and Houston.

Written by Leslie Cranford

The career development conferences included panels, speakers and face-time with representatives from ad agencies, PR firms, non-profits and marketing and communications organizations.

Aside from monetary contributions for scholarships to their alma mater, one group of Texas Tech University alumni has found a way to give directly to current students and recent graduates of the university.

During winter break Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston-area alumni of Texas Tech’s College of Media and Communication (CoMC) hosted full-day events in their respective cities to provide students with the knowledge and tools they need to prepare for entering the workforce.

The Career Development Conference in Dallas included panels, speakers and face-time with representatives from ad agencies, PR firms, non-profits and marketing and communications organizations. Students also could participate in a resume critique opportunity prior to the conference. The event was free and open to College of Media and Communication juniors, seniors and new graduates.

Plano native Rachel David, a December graduate of Texas Tech with a bachelor of arts in public relations and a bachelor of science in human development and family studies, attended the Dallas event.

“This is my second year to attend the DFW Career Development Conference, and it is truly an incredible opportunity for juniors, seniors, and recent graduates,” David said. “It helps connect students to alumni and resources that otherwise would be unavailable. Through this experience, I was able to not only network with alumni in top positions at their companies or agencies, but I landed interviews with public relations, online marketing, and advertising agencies for internships and full time employment positions. I can truly say the alumni of Texas Tech’s College of Media and Communication go above and beyond to help students achieve success and transition into the workforce.”

Red Raider Unity

Kim Rice, vice president of Visual Resource Group, Inc., a Dallas advertising and communications firm, chaired the planning committee for the metroplex event and is a member of the CoMC national advisory board.

“The conference provides a helpful jolt of the real world to these students,” Rice said. “They come away from the conference with new perspectives and are given tools to help them land their first positions and build successful careers. The enthusiasm with which the DFW CoMC alumni step up to support these students, provide guidance and open doors is remarkable. It’s what the students really need to help usher them into the professional realm.”

Students who attended the conference were impressed that the alumni went above and beyond to help them achieve success.

Students who attended the conference were impressed that the alumni went above and beyond to help them achieve success.

Mark deTranaltes, vice president for advancement for St. Thomas High School in Houston and a 1987 alumnus of the college, was the chief organizer of the Houston Shadowing and Professional Development Day.

“The students who showed up for the shadow day visited with agencies, advertising and PR firms and even a production studio,” deTranaltes said. “That was followed by lunch and professional development. The purpose of the event was to network and do whatever we could to see them be successful their careers. The students spoke so highly of their time with the agencies. There was true wonder in their voices regarding spending time with creative directors, account supervisors, and actually being in the environment of a working agency.”

Charlene Stark is chair of the National Advisory Board for the College of Media and Communication.

“Kim and Mark deserve the credit for leading the career days in Dallas and Houston,” Stark said. “They both envisioned ways to help students in their cities. Kim created the concept of the Dallas Career Development Conference in 2011 and has led the event for the last two years. Mark created the Pro/Am concept and successfully recruited students, alums and recruiting professionals to come together in Houston. We are fortunate to have many alumni engaged in activities that will help students secure jobs in media and communication.”

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College of Media & Communication
College of Media & Communication

College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech offers undergraduate degrees in various communications-related disciplines including:

The College also offers graduate degrees in communications to prepare students for careers in the communications industry, communications research and academia. Connect with them on and

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