Q&A With Bob Schieffer College of Communication Alumni – Rachel Sanson

By Katey Reiff, Strategic Communication ‘19

Photo courtesy of Rachel Sanson

Name: Rachel Sanson
Hometown: Great Falls, Virginia
Graduation Year: May 2016
Current Employer and Position Title: Southwest Airlines, Coordinator
Major/Minor: Strategic Communication major, Psychology minor


Why TCU?

I always knew I wanted to look somewhere outside of Virginia to go to school. TCU was the first school I visited and I knew that’s where I wanted to be!

Why Strategic Communication?

I was originally a psychology major and then quickly switched after realizing that was not the career path I wanted to pursue. However, I was still very interested in the subject and felt like strategic communication was more applicable to what I was looking for in a career and was really interested in using that in part with my minor and interest in psychology.

How have you used your major post-graduation?

I feel like what I learned in strategic communication is relevant in many areas in my current position and definitely my past internships. My current position at Southwest is definitely geared more towards the communication side. I have used my major in a part-time position helping with blogging for a consulting company and using the advertising and PR skills that I learned in the major such as creating and posting blogs, SEO, tags and other digital advertising.

How did you best prepare for the work world?

I think my past internships at Southwest Airlines and USA TODAY definitely prepared me most for the working world. I really got a glimpse into what the working world is like while trying to figure out what I liked and disliked in a company and a position.

How was your transition from TCU to the work world?

It has been a bit rocky as it has taken me awhile to really figure out what I want in a career. I had an integrated concentration as a strategic communication major so it gave you a broad spectrum of areas you could go down when looking for a career. I knew that the agency world was not for me and something that I didn’t want to pursue, and I was very picky when looking at companies and positions, which is why it took me a little longer to find my place.

Did you picture yourself working in the job you are currently?

Not necessarily, but the main reason for that was I didn’t have a perfect picture of the position I would have out of college and what it would be like, I had ideas but never thought I would be where I am today. I knew that I wanted to go back and work at Southwest Airlines but the position I had as an intern on their social business team doesn’t exist as full-time so I tried my best at applying for other positions in the company. It’s taken a lot of time and research to figure out what I’ve wanted to do and where I want to be!

What is one thing you would recommend to an incoming student planning to major in Strategic Communication?

I would definitely recommend that a job in an agency is not the only route that having a strategic communication degree leads to. I knew that I didn’t want to work in an agency which made looking for a job right after graduation a bit more difficult, I do highly recommend working in other types of companies and positions where you can still utilize your strategic communication degree to its full potential but that doesn’t mean it needs to be in an agency.