Q: What year did you graduate from WCU?

A: 2011.

Q: What was your concentration and minor?

A: Public relations, with a minor in marketing.

Q: What are your career highlights?

A: Currently, I am the Marketing and Communications Director of Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital.

Q: Why did you choose the Communication department over other majors at WCU?

A: I chose communication because I liked the breadth of the field and what careers you could pursue with a communication education. I liked the thought of being a voice for a company/organization.

Q: What is the most important principle or skill you learned while in the Communication department?

A: I’m not sure I can give you one answer because the longer you are in the communications field the more you realize that the way you communicate one day might not be applicable another. With the new wave of technology and the demand for information right now, trends and best practices continually change. The best advice I can lend is to understand that in communications and PR, you will constantly be evolving your ways of communicating to the community, stakeholders and your employer. You must learn to be resilient and adaptable in order to stay relevant to the needs of those around you that you are responsible for but always adapting to the need, not necessarily your preference.

Q: Where did you complete your internship? What was the most important thing you learned from this experience?

A: I completed my internship at Harris Regional Hospital. The same hospital I am now the marketing director of. I learned that every detail is expected in this line of work. It is your job to create the theme while also solicit for needs to complete a project. No job is ever too small.

Q: How would you characterize the impact of the WCU Communication department on your career?

A: I thoroughly enjoyed my time studying and learning in the WCU Communication Department. I felt and still feel now that the curriculum covers real-world demands and equipped me to be knowledgeable and aware of the expectations of someone in a communication position.

Q: Thinking back about your time as a WCU Communication major, what is your favorite memory?

A: I enjoyed being a part of Catamount Communications and working on the Dillsboro project with Dr. Farmers Class. For a while after graduating and starting my career, I resorted back to my portfolio that we made for help in way-finding through the new projects and assignments in my career. A plan I made during my campaigns class for Mrs. Connelly was invaluable during that time of transition from college to real world.

Q: What would you tell a prospective student wanting to major in Communication at WCU?

A: It’s a great path! I hope you carry passion with you into any job you go in because that is what truly makes you invaluable. If you have passion, you can always navigate obstacles and barriers. Communicate not to be heard but to be understood. If you’re not sure what that is, dig in, get to know your market, and your listeners. Also, couple communications with another field you are highly interested in. The marriage of my Marketing and Communications education excelled me in both of those paths.

Q: Please provide your LinkedIn and any other social media contacts you’d like to share.

LinkedIn: Sara Crawford