By Adam Rich
How many times have you been in class wondering when you would ever use any of the concepts in the "real world?" Recent graduate of the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication Jamie Lange will make you think twice about paying more attention. Lange remembers an ethics class at ISU where a discussion involved "sensitive issues and photographs about a hotel walkway collapse." A similar situation arose at her office not long ago and she was able to use that scenario as guidance for their issue. "I still use my textbook today," she says.
Lange currently serves as the Financial Development Coordinator for the American Red Cross. In her final semester of school, Lange went on the National Student Exchange to California State University, Northridge. After working a year in California in alumni relations and training in graphic design, she returned to Iowa and began working full time for the local Girl Scout Council. As a fundraising and communications assistant, her widespread duties were made easier with knowledge from her years at ISU.
"The training provided by the Greenlee School included many aspects of the field and prepared me to dabble a bit in many areas," says Lange. Lessons in writing press releases and producing newsletters paid off as Lang was in charge of producing the Girl Scouts’ bi-monthly newsletter that was mailed to nearly 18,000 local families. After two years, Lange changed jobs to her current position with the American Red Cross.
For those students interested in the non-profit industry, Lange notes that the diversity of tasks can leave the communicator wearing many hats—writer, speaker, designer, fundraiser, etc. She says, "Having a little bit of knowledge in each area really prepared me for slipping into that role."
As a general rule, Lange recommends that students start building a portfolio and making connections. "As prepared as the courses make you for the real world, it's really about networking."