Hope for the Future

Last night I had the privilege of being a speaker at the annual Communications Connection on the Staten Island Campus of my alma mater St. John’s University.  This was a great program put on by the Office of Institutional Advancement that brought alumni in the communications field together to network and advise current students looking to pursue careers in communications and public relations.

As the old man in the room, I discussed the importance of taking advantage of internship opportunities, networking and building strong relationships.  It was an opportunity to also discuss how much things have changed. What I tried most of all to do  was to encourage the students that despite the economy, they were entering the field in a strong position because of their built-in knowledge of social media.  I told them of how many old school public relations professionals are fading fast because of their inability to grasp how to use social media.  I said I was adopting the techniques and learning on the go just to stay competitive, but the opportunities were boundless for those like themselves who have assimilated into the culture.

What I came away with after spending about 90 minutes following my talk discussing career opportunities with these students was a sense of satisfaction and relief. This group of students was extremely enthusiastic, asked smart questions and was full of confidence.  It made me feel that there is indeed hope for the future of the communications industry.

This is a credit to Dr. Deborah Greh, Director of the Mass Communications Program on the Staten Island Campus and most importantly, the students themselves.

I felt a great sense of pride as an alumnus of the University last night and want to especially thank Dr. Greh, Andriana Lewinsky, Assistant Director, Institutional Advancement and Nicholas Legakis, Director of Institutional Advancement for giving me the opportunity to speak.

Knowing there is good talent on the bench is encouraging. Things may be changing, but effective communications is a skill that is always in need.

Tom Cosentino


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