Courtney Lillard: Public Speaking Instructor; Recruiter

What’s challenging/interesting/rewarding about my current job?

  • What I found most rewarding is the opportunity to return to my alma mater to apply what I learned during my graduate program. I feel I am able to understand my students’ position and really focus on their learning process individually as communicators. This is also challenging because most students vary in their skills, which means some aspects come easier or more difficult to others. It is interesting to watch students grow throughout the semester and fall into their own speaking and writing styles.

How do I use various communication proficiencies in my work?

  • In my recruitment position, I focus on providing as much information to prospective students in an appealing, honest manner as possible. It is equally important to understand there are other options out there, and about 80% of students I work with do not end up choosing QU. Each student is an individual, and as such, must go through similar processes made personal to them depending on their talents, interests, location, financial status, etc. As an instructor, it is imperative to be flexible. Everyone learns in many ways; some might do well with activities while others prefer writing. If my students are confused or all do poorly on an assignment, speech, or quiz, I cannot blame their lack of effort. To me, the point of teaching is to help each student take what they need to out of the class and apply it to their own careers and lives, which means not every student will take the same things away.

What surprised me about my career?

  • What surprised me most about my career is how much I enjoy teaching and working with students/prospective students. During my time at QU, I loved acting as a student ambassador and getting to know the families that visited. Watching those who choose QU and my own students (during a semester) mature as students and adults into their desired field is priceless.

Here’s my number one piece of advice for Communication undergrads:

  • Be patient! I (still) look to the future and get anxious when I think of what will come next. Where will I be living? Should I continue on with school? What if I can’t find a job? Will I be happy in the next 6 months? Year or two? Although it is hard to sit still sometimes or push through something you don’t want to do, eventually you’ll be looking back on your time at QU and find joy that you made it to graduation. Your opportunities are limitless, sometimes it just takes a little waiting for them to fall into place.

Class year: 2015


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