I found myself in disbelief today that the semester is already a month away from completion. That, in turn, means my senior year is half-way over. The reality of graduation is starting to creep up on me.

That being said, I am trying my best to prepare now for life after college, mainly in securing a job. I’ve heard the skeptics and I’ve listened to the news– the outlook isn’t good.

But I do know one thing– I believe I will stand out among a pool of applicants, thanks in large part due to the tools and opportunities Winona State has provided me.



Photo by Brooke Powel ’21


First of all, I feel my classes have prepared me for succeeding in the “real world” in the Mass Communications field. I have a portfolio full of work to show off to potential employers. I’ve learned to think creatively and strategically to produce effective pieces of persuasion. I also have been afforded the chance to apply what I’ve learned in class to internships I’ve received.

Also, because the class sizes at Winona State are small, I’ve built meaningful relationships with my professors. I appreciate their passion for helping us thrive and they have gone out of their way for me many times. It was my professor who sought me out and recommended me for the job of University Communications public relations writer. What that job entailed is the kind of stuff some people will have to wait to experience till they get into entry level Public Relations and beyond. Another professor of mine connected me with someone he knew from a particular agency I want to work for. The same professor had a two-hour conversation with me on what I really want to do in life. These interpersonal relationships with professors can’t be found just anywhere.

The opportunities to become a leader here are a lot more frequent and are so beneficial. The opportunities to learn are numerous and constant.

The most recent example I have is Winona State Career Service’s Etiquette Dinner. Career Services actually puts on a night of networking and a three-course dinner to help students feel confident during business luncheons/dinners. We learned an abundance of information: from when or when not to give out your business card, to how to politely remove a pit or something non-edible from your mouth while conversing over appetizers, to the language of silverware placement.

It’s opportunities like these that keep building my confidence to venture into the land of 40-plus hour workdays. One of my mass communication professors, John Weis, constantly assures us that all these experiences at Winona State will help me shine as a gem among an array of mediocre stones.  Though I am nervous about the job market, I’m also beyond excited to do get out there and do what I love to do.

While I’ve been at Winona State, I’ve truly learned what I am good at and what I am passionate about. Advertising, marketing, and public relations intrigue me. The art of crafting a strategic and compelling message that inspires action is the ultimate goal for us professional communicators. I want to be out in that world, dreaming new messages into reality every day.

You too will get the chance to discover your passion if you haven’t already pinpointed it and Winona State is full of professors and mentors to help you move forward in your pursuit. I’m so thankful for the experiences the people of Winona State have given me, and especially now I am thankful for everything I’ve gotten to dabble in that’ll help me with my career. Now all I’ve got to do is have a hard-core winter break, focused on applications and resumes and cover letters. Winona State gave me the tools, now I just have to sell myself.

-Kali Kotz

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