From news writers to public relations specialists, students in the School of Journalism and Media Studies plan for a variety of professions after they graduate. One such student hoped to work in the entertainment media field, and is now working in social media at her dream job.
Alex Piscatelli earned a degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in communications from San Diego State University in May 2018.
During her time at SDSU, she was a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America, served as the vice president for PSFA Civil Core and was the publicity director for KCR College Radio. Piscatelli was also on The Daily Aztec staff, serving as the social media editor her junior year and as engagement editor during her senior year.
“I think PRSSA helped a lot because you got to speak to actual professionals, and that’s one thing that PRSSA had that a lot of my clubs didn’t necessarily have,” she said. “You were able to network who were actually in the field, you were able to see what they do on a day-to-day basis, and I feel like that’s the best way to discover what you want to do when you graduate.”
Since graduating, she has moved to Los Angeles and is working in E! News’ social media department.
“So far it has been kind of crazy because I always knew I wanted to work in entertainment,” Piscatelli said. “This is my first kind of taste of being immersed in it, in LA, doing what I have always dreamed of doing.”
Previous to work at E! News, Piscatelli would read a lot of entertainment content in her free time. Since she is now working in the entertainment field, she said she has been striving to make cooking and working out her new hobbies.
“In my free time, I would obviously read E! News, follow E! News and be interested in entertainment stuff, and that’s what I’m doing at my job currently,” she said. “It’s kind of an adjustment there figuring out that I need a work-life balance because what I like to do in my free time I’m also doing at work.”
Of the classes that she feels helped her the most for her job, she includes COMM-415, Nonverbal Communication, and JMS 462, Advertising Strategy and Social Media.
“I feel like (nonverbal communications) is just in everyday life — talking in any workplace situation it’s very helpful,” she said. “I would also say the class that helped me a lot was JMS 462...that class helped me as well because we got to look at actual examples of social media and brands using social media to see what’s successful.”
Piscatelli advises students to join PRSSA to build industry connections and develop skills in the public relations field.
“Getting a job and getting an internship, it’s all about connections,” Piscatelli said. “By being a part of PRSSA, you’re part of a professional organization and you’re meeting actual professionals in the field. If you want to be able to have a better chance of getting ahead in the industry, you should join PRSSA so you can immerse yourself in connections and networking.”
Visit our website on the first Friday of every month as we feature an alumnus of San Diego State University and our PRSSA chapter.