Catching Up With:
Shannon Skeggs – Graduate Student (Sports Management), St. John’s University
Communications Graduate, Class of 2010
When Shannon entered the Communications department, one of her goals was to gain knowledge about the industry and narrow down her interests for future career plans. “I didn’t exactly what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go right away in the field but I wanted to take several different classes and learn more about Communications in general”, said Shannon. She was also interested in learning video editing and film production because she was interested in putting together videos of sporting games and since she was on the softball team, she could utilize her media production skills to help the team on the field by recording team practices (For example, breaking down swings with fellow teammates). Shannon adds, “I also wanted to become more confident in my communication abilities, such as public speaking skills.”
Two communications courses that Shannon enjoyed were script writing for media and film art. “I enjoyed learning about films that I had seen and breaking them down. I would watch films over and over again and each time, see something I had not noticed before”, stated Shannon. She also enjoyed editing in the television studio any chance she had. Television production and editing and post production were fun for Shannon because it was a hands on learning experience, students had the ability to control the equipment, direct and edit our own projects.
- Shannon Skeggs: standing left in the photo
Since graduating from Molloy, Shannon received some advice from her communications professors. She spent a lot of time with Professor Brian Cogan during her senior year while writing her thesis paper. Shannon said, “Before my senior year, I was very intimidated taking senior seminar and writing the thesis but Professor Cogan said that it would all work out and it sure did! He also encouraged me to go to graduate school and now that I am almost done, I am so glad I went back after taking a break from her education for two years.” Shannon also mentioned that Professor Deidre Pribram inspired her a great deal because she always seemed to be there when anyone needed her and was willing to help whenever she could. Shannon added, “She knew how to challenge and push me so that I could grow. We never know how far we can go until we try and with her help, many of us saw our potential.”
When looking back at all of the memories and experiences she had as a Communications student, she remembers many of them fondly. Some of her favorite memories were being in the television studio filming, editing and acting in a variety of short films with all of her classmates. In taking a stroll down memory lane, Shannon said, “I also liked how close my senior graduating class was. We spent so much time together and could learn and depend on one another.”
When studying communications at Molloy all students are required to take an internship where they take all of their skills in the classroom and bring it to a professional setting. During her tenure at Molloy, she interned at the Irish Voice Newspaper. Some of her responsibilities included researching and creating databases, telemarketing with different institutions and promoting the Irish Legal 100 and Irish Sports 100, which included the top 100 professionals of Irish decent in law and sports. “I learned a lot about my interests during my internship. It is a time to explore and find out if you could see yourself in that field in the future. I took away great professional etiquette and advice for the real world”, she stated concerning her internship. Shannon was grateful for the communications internship coordinator Professor Janice Kelly for helping her find an internship and helping her through the entire process. Shannon also offered advice for students looking for an internship or about to start one. “Be proactive in your search. Do not wait for internships to come to you because they won’t. You will get out of it what you put into it. You have to do some research and network with people.” She also advises students to take more than one internship because it can help narrow your interests down and meet industry professionals. “During your internship, work hard, have fun and learn as much as you can.”
Shannon was also a student athlete during her time at Molloy playing softball all four years and tennis for three years. Shannon’s fondest memory and sporting career accomplishment was during her senior campaign when the team won the East Regional Championship in New Haven CT. By winning the game, the team traveled to the NCAA Division 2 Softball College World Series in St. Joseph, Missouri. “It was a great feeling to be one of the 8 teams left in the country. Going to the World Series was a great way to end my college-playing career as a senior.”
After graduation, Shannon worked as a project associate for McVeigh Associates as a meeting planner for two years. McVeigh Associates is an event management company that plans meetings and conferences for the pharmaceutical industry. “I was an event planner for the drug company Eli Lilly where I was in charge of planning all logistics of meetings including airport transportation, hotel arrangements, dinner plans etc. I also built websites for attendee management and was the communication contact for all attendees”, said Shannon. She also felt that this was a great entry-level job and she learned so much from working there. While working for McVeigh Associates, Shannon had the opportunity to travel to a couple of the meetings in Bordeaux, France and Barcelona, Spain. After working as a meeting planner for two years, Shannon made the decision to leave her job at McVeigh Associates and attend graduate school full time. She now wanted to pursue wanted a career in athletics, in which she is currently in her second and final year of graduate school at St. Johns University. Once completed, her degree will be a Masters degree in Sports Management. Additionally, she is also a graduate assistant in the Athletic Facilities and Operations department managing all sports facilities. The job also includes coordinating with the coaches to obtain their schedules and book the fields as well as maintaining the athletic areas. “My career aspirations with a master’s degree in sports management are to work full time in a college athletic department. Ever since I was a student athlete at Molloy, I knew I wanted to work with college athletes. I love the atmosphere of working in a college as well as giving back to the athletes and being involved in the behind the scenes activities.”
Shannon believes that many of the skills she learned as a communications student have helped her in graduate school. When she took research in communications and communications seminar, both of those courses helped Shannon learn the techniques that were needed to write a research paper and how to break down scholarly articles. Shannon added, “I am currently enrolled in a Research Methods class and believe I have a great foundation for this class from my undergraduate experience. I also believe that public speaking has helped me because many of my undergraduate classes involved speaking in front of the class, it continues in graduate school.
Before closing out the interview, Shannon offered advice to students about to graduate. “This is an exciting time because all your hard work has paid off. The last semester is pretty crazy with your thesis, internship, and any other activities you may have. But all your hard work has brought you here. It feels good to close one chapter and embark upon another. Now it is time to take the next step and go after what you want. If you are job searching, be proactive and professional, if you are going to continue to graduate school, go strong. You are well prepared with the education you received from the Molloy Communications Department.