RealJobs: Patricia McLaughlin Carey

A day in pictures …

Staff meeting

Photo credit: Brandon Mosley

It’s my privilege to work with 13 of the finest communications professionals I’ve ever met. At our staff meeting this morning, I ask them what career advice they would give you. Here’s what they say:

  • Write for a college publication. Those who did say the experience is invaluable. Those who didn’t (including me) wish they had.
  • Take a variety of classes. Don’t play it safe. Explore lots of disciplines and topics. It will give you scope, versatility, and the ability to look at issues and ideas from multiple perspectives.
  • Develop multiple communications skills. Writing well is essential; you’ll be even more marketable if you combine writing with another skill like graphic design, Web design, photography, video editing, public speaking or social media.
  • Get to know your faculty. Sit in the front row. Speak up.Drop by office hours even when you don’t have a specific question. You’ll be glad you did.

Intern at work

Photo credit: Patricia Carey

My colleagues and I depend on smart student interns like Laura (pictured above) to help us write Web stories, make admission videos, design event posters and photograph campus events. They get great experience, and we love having their input especially when we’re developing new admission communications.

Faculty at work

Photo credit: Amy Martin

As much as I can, I try to get out of the office and attend campus events. It’s the best way to discover stories and make sure we really understand the educational experience we are communicating.

Today, I sit in on a lunchtime talk by Art Professor Barbara Zabel, who has written a book on Alexander Calder and is curating a Smithsonian exhibit of his work. It reminds me how much I enjoy working in a place full of interesting, creative people.

You may never work in higher education, but you’re living in this world of ideas right now. The B.C.  calendar is packed with lectures, exhibits, presentations and events. Take advantage of them.

My office

Photo credit: Patricia Carey

This is it—the place where I spend so many of my waking hours. I love the light and the view of the Thames River leading to Long Island Sound. In the winter, when the leaves are down, I can see the College’s new fitness center, where I recently resolved to spend more time. Maybe I’ll start next week.

Photo credit: Lisa Brownell


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