By Katey Reiff, Strategic Communication ‘19
Name: Abby Bradford
Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska
Graduation Year: May 2016
Current Employer and Position Title: Groupon Corporate Headquarters, Business Development Representative
Major: Communication Studies
I chose TCU because I liked that it was a small school with a big school feel. It offered amazing academics, a strong Greek system, and nationally recognized athletics.
Why Communication Studies?
I originally entered TCU as an education major, but after two semesters I realized it wasn’t for me. I was looking for a major that would allow me to gain the skills necessary to enter into multiple industries after graduation while still finishing school within four years.
How have you used your major post-graduation?
I have specifically seen my major come in handy within group situations. The major encourages large amounts of group projects, presentations, along with courses about group communication. This has allowed me to be a better member of my team at Groupon and understand the different roles the members naturally possess. Additionally, at Groupon I talk to more than 50 people a day in an attempt to sell their product. My communication major has helped me build rapport quicker and sharpen my skills of talking to different types of people.
How did you best prepare for the work world?
If I’m being honest, there isn’t much that can truly prepare you for being in the work field and “real” world. Obviously my internships were extremely important to build my résumé and help me decide what jobs would be best, but they weren’t as realistic as I would have thought. Overall, the biggest thing that helped prepare me were summer internships for smaller companies. Summer internships are usually every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., which is a “real world” work schedule. When working for smaller companies you get to know your coworkers quicker while building trust and rapport, which usually helps you gain more knowledge and better relationships for references.
How was your transition from college to the work world?
Fortunately, Groupon is notorious for hiring a lot of “fresh graduates” and has an extensive training program. This was extremely beneficial and made my transition almost seamless. This made me realize the importance of quality training. It’s not uncommon for companies to not offer training and require their new employees to figure out the job as they go.
Did you picture yourself working in the job you are currently?
All my internships involved marketing or advertising, so I was surprised when I was offered and took the sales job at Groupon. I learned that sales is a very common industry for new graduates and a lot of people end up sticking with it. Although I have learned a lot at Groupon, I’m planning on returning to the traditional marketing and advertising industry when the right opportunity presents itself.
What is one thing you would recommend to an incoming student planning to major in communication studies?
I would definitely recommend a business or psychology minor. The communication studies curriculum requirements are great, but I wish I had an additional field of study on my resume. I think a combination of communication and business and/or psychology would set you apart in interviews and help you gain useful knowledge and experience.