Communication Studies

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Academic Career Coaches

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What is Academic Career Coaching?

Academic career coaching is a type of personal coaching that helps students find the best way to approach their careers by establishing professional goals, creating a career plan and overcoming academic obstacles that may be in the way.

Our academic career coaches can help students with a wide array of career-related goals and issues specific to communication studies majors. Some students know exactly what they want to do with their lives when they graduate but others need help finding and executing a plan to get there. Find your calling by meeting your designated career coach.

Is my academic career coach different from my advisor?

While similar in many ways, your academic career coach is NOT your academic advisor. Your academic career coach will provide you with industry information and how the courses you select can enhance your work and preparation in that career. Your academic career coach will help you look deeper at how the courses you take align with your career choices.  Your academic career coach will also help you assess the current employment landscape, provide you with information about industry trends, salary expectations, and more.  Your academic career coach will have resources to help direct you in the area of careers; especially if you are new to the workforce.

Your advisor takes an educational, directive approach to ensure that you are meeting your academic requirements.  Staff advising do not often focus on career.  Wholistic advising will help you balance the things happening in your life with creating a schedule of courses to help you be successful in your courses and at home.

Academic career coaches typically have experience and training in a variety of personal career development strategies, including:

  • Career exploration
  • Interviewing skills & confidence building
  • Creative job search strategies
  • Resume and cover letter writing
  • Career, personality and strengths assessments search
  • Personal marketing and branding
  • Evaluating prospective employers
  • Salary negotiations

How does career coaching work in COMS?

Each student in the major is matched to an academic career coach. Each academic career coach is trained to help students navigate their academic program with a keen focus on career goals. The academic career coach each student is assigned to will work with the same academic career coach until graduation from CSUN.

Therefore, a students personal academic career coach will help them do two things: First, they help students with personal development, so that they can answer the big questions in life such "what am I passionate about?", "What do I really want to do when I graduate?" and "What career options do I have with a COMS degree?". Second, the academic career coach will help students think about career options and will provide resouces for searching services, resume writing, preparing for interviews, and developing job searching skills.

If a student does not know their academic career coach, the student should look for an email asking them to meet with their personal academic career coach and to sign up for the Departments student profile. Students may also use this email to ask for a career coach to contact them

COMS Academic Career Coaches (2018-2019)

  • Professor Darla Anderson
  • Professor Joseph Ayala
  • Professor Sakile Camara, Chair
  • Professor Michelle Bruell Hofmann
  • Professor Jessica Kwack
  • Professor Denise LeRette
  • Professor Michelle Menjivar
  • Professor Dinah Nucum
  • Professor Kelly Opdycke
  • Professor Andrew Silverstein


Believe it or not, degrees in the Communication Studies can actually make it easier to land a job. Communication Studies carries a unique list of skill sets that more and more employers are saying they want. Across industries, employers look for a combination of skills, interests and values that match their own.  

Be Prepared for Anything

Forget about scrolling through a list of careers that communication studies majors pursue. There are no rules. If you choose a major you’re passionate about, you are much more likely to discover and develop your own personal skills, interests and values that ultimately, will help you find a rewarding profession.

Skills You Will Gain as a Communication Studies Major

  • Effective writing, speaking and critical thinking
  • Working collaboratively in teams and groups
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Analyzing audiences
  • Understanding and conducting research
  • Understanding global, cultural and institutional values
  • Evaluating texts and performances
  • Understanding power and social justice

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Upcoming Events

Personal Elevator Pitch Workshop

Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 2:30pm

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Learn about how to create elevator pitches and why they are so important to achieving your career goals. Read more

Learn About the Field of Public Relations

Friday, October 23, 2020 - 1:00pm

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Discussion with special guest Miguel Bagsit of Outcast Agency. Read more

Planning Your Career Virtually

Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 1:00am to Thursday, December 31, 2020 - 11:59pm

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With special guest Gino De Rose from E. & J. Gallo Winery. Read more