Beth Zelinski Williams: Wesley K. Clark & Associates

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

  • I work for a small consulting firm so I wear a lot of hats and being busy always makes the days go by quickly. I enjoy getting to talk to/meet different people from around the world and we are always working on new projects, which keeps things interesting, albeit some are more exciting than others. (Field trip to the woods to test out bulletproof glass, anyone interested?) I also handle all the finances for the business and was surprised to learn how much I enjoy accounting. (Which is something I never thought I would have wanted to do in school, but I’d highly recommend everyone take a few basic accounting classes so the learning curve isn’t so steep if you decide to use the skills later in life.)  I also assist with social media promoting op-eds, sharing/posting relevant tweets, and weirdly quite often searching out/reporting “catfishers” on Facebook. (Apparently, my 73-year-old boss is a very popular target for people to impersonate online and try to scam old ladies into a romantic relationship and out of money.)

How do I use various communication proficiencies in my work?

  • I’m at my computer for most of the day doing anything from sending emails, editing/reviewing contracts, updating social media, researching for clients, checking out the stock market, editing op-eds, creating presentations, keeping up with FINRA compliance work, updating Quick Books, billing out to clients, HR paperwork, or paying bills.  I’m always using editing skills to make sure everything I send out is professional. I wish I had retained more of the design skills because I would love to have even more skill to make my presentations more refined.

What surprised me about my career?

  • I think what surprised me most is that I enjoy doing the finances more than the actual communications parts of my job that I went to school for. I love how you can communication the same message a million different ways but sometimes that leads me to second guessing my wording for my message. There is something satisfying to me about the black and white nature of numbers, you either calculated it correctly or you didn’t.

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

  • You will use your communication skills you learn no matter what field you eventually end up in. I would truly be remiss if I answered anything for QU Communication without mentioning an internship.  Every time we discuss the need for an intern in our office I immediately think of Dr. John Schleppenbach and how much he would have loved to send someone our way. All experience you can bring to the table is good for future positions and you can learn so much taking on various internships. It is also a great way to see what you truly enjoy doing before committing to a full time job. Also, take the time to have good in depth conversations with your advisor.  I will always be thankful for great talks with Travis Yates to help steer me in the right direction for my classes and possible career choices.

Class year: 2011

Previous jobs since graduation: Admissions Counselor, Quincy University, 5th Grade Teacher, Stuttgart Public Schools, Teach for America


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