SIUC Dept. of Communication Studies RSOs
Maggie Burke, a sophomore in Communication Studies (Public Relations) from Bettendorf, Iowa, joined the SIUC Advertising Club this past year and made it her goal to take the team from year-after-year last-place finishes at the National Student Advertising Competition to a top-place finish. They placed fourth this year, ahead of 17 other teams
She worked with three other Salukis, Kyle Kasner (Journalism), Cheyenne Glagola (Journalism), and Chris Cole (Journalism), all members of the Advertising Club, to create a campaign for Ocean Spray. They pitched their plan to a panel of judges, which included industry professionals. In this competition, teams are given the same information and resources; they then do additional research and develop a plan.
An important part of the competition is the presentation of information to the judges, which requires communicating complex information in an intelligible and interesting manner. Maggie used her competitive attitude and ability to motivate a team, which she also does as an NCAA Division I swimmer for the Saluki Swimming & Diving Team, and her public speaking knowledge and skills, learned and sharpened in Communication Studies courses, to push her team to the top.
As she said, “our success is definitely attributable to Communication Studies courses I have taken at SIU. Because of these courses I am comfortable speaking to large, public audiences.” She listed the following courses as being the most helpful: Argumentation and Debate, because it helped improve her research skills during the beginning of the team’s campaign, Public Relations courses, and Business and Professional Communication. “These are courses that absolutely aided in the building of the campaign and creation of the presentation,” Maggie says.
Although the team placed fourth this year, it has its sights set on a first-place finish in the 2019 competition. A first-place win would advance the team to the 2019 semi-finals for an opportunity to advance to the National Competition. Dr. Craig Engstrom, her instructor in the Business and Professional Communication course, says he has no doubt she will get her team to a first-place finish: “When I asked Maggie if they will place first next year and her eyes lit up with what I can I only describe as the Saluki Spirit. Without missing a beat, she replied ‘heck yeah.’ Maggie is driven to be successful as a public and interpersonal communicator. She works very hard in my courses and takes feedback well. I have no doubt she can coach her team, using what she is learning in our courses, to finish—not only first place in district competitions, but also regional and national ones as well. Her winning personality is infectious.”
To learn more about Maggie, you can visit her LinkedIn profile or read about her swimming accomplishments here.
If Communication Studies interests you, you can visits the CMST website. The Communication Career Council (C3) is a great resource/club for those interested in résumé coaching, career and alumni outreach, or those who just wish to join a motivated group of SIU students whose goals are to build themselves professionally.
Emily McCuistion, CMST Alumna (Cass of 2018)
Emily recently graduated SIUC with her Bachelors of Science in Communication Studies (Intercultural Communication). Emily was always a driven and passionate communication student. She interacted with faculty and peers through her Vice President of Membership role for C3. She developed an interest in law over the course of her undergraduate career. She has decided to take the LSAT in September 2018 and aims to get an internship at a local law firm in the fall; she will attend law school in fall of 2019.