Alumnae speakers Lisa Cox, public affairs officer for Springfield Police Department, and Meaghan Younker, talent acquisition for Leggett & Platt. spoke during Thursday’s COM Week luncheon to a record-breaking crowd of about 80 students, faculty and staff.
Younker offers resume, interview advice
Younker, who has bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Missouri State, said her human resources position for the manufacturing company Leggett & Platt pushes her communication skills everyday. She helps hiring managers find and interview potential employees when positions come available and advise them on skills they should look for in a qualified candidate. She also writes blogs and articles for the company magazine and gives presentations on how employees can become more effective communicators.
“I’m a follow-the-rules kind of person and I love detail-oriented work and talking to people, so I work well in the interview process,” she said. “But my favorite part is when I make the offer. I love calling someone up to say, “Great news! You got the job.”
Dean Gloria Galanes of the College of Arts and Letters sat in the audience and asked Younker what stands out to her on resumes, to which Younker had this advice: proofread, personalize the template, include leadership examples and don’t limit yourself to just one page. She also warned that interviewees are being assessed from the moment they walk through company doors. She considers how confidently a candidate shakes hands, walks and talks all the way into the interview room.
Cox: Don’t pass up chance to learn
Cox, a 2008 graduate from the communication department, has been working with Springfield Police Department for two years. She was in Mercy hospital’s media relations department before that. She also participated in two internships as a student at Springfield Chamber of Commerce and broadcast station KY3. Networking, she said, has helped her in every step of her career.
For example, she was able to get the job at Mercy through her boss at the Chamber of Commerce. And then, when her Mercy supervisor, Cora Scott, moved to a City of Springfield job, she recruited Cox as public affairs officer for SPD, a position previously reserved for a sworn officer. Making that a civilian position, she said, has come with challenges her communication education prepared her to meet. Now she writes press releases, speaks on camera and at press conferences, conducts communication training seminars, fields questions from officers, reporters and the public and carries out marketing campaigns.
She advised students to take every learning opportunity they can. “When I was in school, I said I never wanted to work in government or health care, but look at my career. And I love what I do,” she said. “No experience is bad experience. Don’t pass up on any opportunities you’re given.”
COM Week continues tomorrow with alumni speakers Darin Kent, bank president at Regent Bank’s Oklahoma City market, and Kara DeVita, director of community engagement for AT&T. All COM Week presentations this week come with a free lunch.
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (presentation begins at noon)
Location: Plaster Student Union, Robert W. Ballroom East
Admission: Free and open to the public