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Using Communication Strategies to Improve Denver Communities

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Author(s)

Jessica Comola

Feature
•     •
Carley St. Claire

Carley St. Clair (MS ’16), a recent graduate of DU’s media and public communication master’s program, is using her degree to serve the public good. With a focus on giving back to her communities, she works as a communication strategist at DaVita Kidney Care in Denver.

When looking for a master’s program, St. Clair wanted to build both practical, career-oriented skills and to deeply invest in relationships within and beyond the classroom. At DU, she found both.

“I ultimately decided to enroll at the University of Denver because of its strategic approach to communications, small program size and commitment to public service,” St. Clair said.

She explains further, “I wanted a skillset I could apply across industries and [one that] could grow with me throughout my career. I [also] wanted a small program where I could develop strong relationships with my professors and fellow students.”

Through the Department of Media, Film & Journalism Studies, St. Clair has completed internships with The Women’s Foundation of Colorado as well as Global Greengrants Fund. Her emphasis on transferrable and real-world skills encouraged her to put theory into practice.

“The program [at DU] started with theoretical and philosophical approaches to communications and then focused on applying these approaches through classes such as health communications and developing and executing a brand.”

 “Foundational to each of these courses,” she continues, “was a focus on the public good: How can we use these concepts to improve the communities we live in?”

St. Clair explains the value of being armed with a strategic approach, which equips her for all kinds of situations —e ven those she might not have anticipated in the classroom.

“I believe the strategic approach that the program taught me is the most helpful tool that I learned in my time at DU. Each individual course, from branding and media law to communication theory and community practicum, gave me an opportunity to apply this strategic approach…. What I learned was how to be agile and respond to unpredicted situations.”

St. Clair encourages current students interested in communications to seek out a program that aligns with their values. She used her community focus as a “guiding light” to help assess schools and get the most out of DU’s program once she was in.

Her advice? “From internships to volunteer opportunities and jobs, identify and engage in opportunities that will give you experience while in school.”