Name: Laura Stroia
Degrees: Bachelor of Arts- International Studies and Master of Arts- Communication
Schools attended: Ohio State University and University of Akron
What is your current job title at Kent State University?
I am the Internship & Practicum Coordinator for the School of Communication Studies. I am also adjunct faculty.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Well I’m here twice a week, and usually my day consists of appointments with students. I’m always a semester ahead so I’ve already collected applications from students who are trying to intern in the Spring semester. I help students locate places where they can complete an internship or practicum at so it’s a constant revolving door. I also manage the current students who are involved in an internship or practicum. So with those students, I keep up with them on a weekly basis with what they’re doing every week by reviewing reports and recording their hours. Once their internship is complete, I also review their portfolio. In addition to that, I also answer a lot of emails and reach out to organizations that are looking for interns. Right now I’m also teaching Communication 15000 College-Credit Plus through Kent Stark at Chippewa High School. You never know what the day will exactly look like!
Tell me a little about your college experience and how you found that you wanted to work within the field of communication.
While I was at Ohio State I did an internship, and it makes me relatable to the students now who are working hard trying to obtain internships. I realized the importance of practical work along with your studies. After college I worked in the sales field for a while and realized that communication was something I was really interested in, more so on a one-on-one basis. I went back to school and got my master’s degree and found that teaching was another real passion of mine. I was able to incorporate my skills and passions together, and I ended up teaching at the University of Akron for 20 years. I’ve only been at Kent since January but I come with some great communication teaching experience as well as internship coordinating experience from Akron. This coming Spring I’ll teach a class here at Kent so I’m excited for that.
What advice would you give to incoming communication freshmen in order for them to succeed?
Have good direction, and in order to have good direction you have to surround yourself with people that can help you. Set yourself up with a really good advisor, stay on top of your studies to know what is expected of you and to stay organized. Definitely be resourceful as well, keep up with what your goal is and take steps throughout college to get there. Get to know your professors, they’re a very valuable source.
What advice would you give to a graduating senior as they begin to enter the workforce with a communication degree?
Be prepared to do things you didn’t think you would be doing. Keep your expectations realistic in terms of what career you’re going for. Keep trying to land your dream job, but know that there might be steps to take before you actually get there. That’s why an internship or practicum is really beneficial because you’re utilizing all those skills you’ve achieved throughout your four years and testing out the waters and gaining experience.
What is your favorite aspect of working at Kent State University?
Always learning something new. Learning about the Kent population and the students and finding out what Kent is all about. The students bring some real interests to the field and I love learning from them.
What do you like most working in the communication department?
Meeting the staff is great since I’m still fairly new. Also learning how much the staff, faculty and department care about the students. They truly care about students and their well-being and success. I’ve never seen faculty and advisors so concerned and helping toward students as I have here at Kent.