This year FIMSSC is excited to bring you a series of Alumni profiles to showcase what Information and Media Studies graduates have gone on to do after finishing their degree.
The first alumna we have the pleasure of introducing to you is M.I.T. class of 2012 graduate Jackie Koffman in the following interview by Jessica Pirraglia.
Jackie Koffman – Out of the Classroom and into the Workplace
B.A. Honors, Media, Information and Technoculture
Certificate in Writing
Class of 2012
What are you currently doing and how did you get there?
I became interested in Public Relations after completing various internships throughout my undergrad and taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the faculty. Immediately after I graduated in April 2012, I began an internship at Holmes Creative Communications, an entertainment and lifestyle public relations agency in Toronto. After a month of interning, I was hired as a publicist! I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing clients including Canada’s Walk of Fame, YTV’s talent series The Next Star, JFL42 Comedy Festival, Canada Council for the Arts, FAN EXPO Canada and the Just for Laughs Comedy Tour.
What is your favorite or most memorable FIMS course and/or professor
That’s a tough one since there are so many amazing FIMS professors and courses offered at UWO! If I had to choose, I’d have to say that my most memorable class was my fourth year seminar on Psychoanalysis with Professor Sharon Sliwinski. We explored so many fascinating and stimulating topics from The Holocaust to Occupy Wall Street and the South African Apartheid. This class really allowed me to develop and process my thoughts, giving the material and readings a whole new meaning and level of realism. The idea of learning by discussion really stuck with me and I definitely took away the most from this course!
How has your FIMS degree and experiences at Western contributed to your current career endeavors
Without a doubt, my FIMS degree strongly improved my writing and research skills.
Formulating a thesis for an essay is similar to finding the hook or angle in a pitch.
Getting media interested in what you have to say is sometimes about finding that overarching theme that ties a story together. Another experience that impacted me at Western was my job as a fundraiser for the Western Call Centre. Getting on the phone and talking with parents and alumni really enhanced my communication skills. I am now much more confident when pitching over the phone and always ready to think on my feet.
What advice do you have for current students?
Go for a certificate in writing! Not only are the courses interesting and useful, but it’s a bonus to any resumé. Apply for internships through MIT’s internship program. Hands-on experience is valuable and is the best way to know if career is a fit. Arrange informational interviews. Meet with others in your desired career and ask them questions about how they got their start. You’ll be amazed at how many possibilities can emerge from one interview.