EU alumni perspective: Jennifer Walk
Name: Jennifer Walk
Graduation Year: 2015
Major: Broadcast Journalism
Current Position: Junior Copywriter at AKA NYC
City and State: New York, NY
Tell us about your career and what you do now.
I currently work as a junior copywriter at AKA NYC – the world’s only global integrated agency serving the arts, culture, leisure, and entertainment industries. Some of AKA NYC’s clients you may have heard of include Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Band’s Visit, Anastasia, Once On This Island, and Come From Away (all of which are current shows on Broadway). As the junior copywriter, I contribute to writing projects that spread across digital and print. I also proofread and edit anything and everything that the agency creates. I’m passionate about theatre, and even though I can’t act to save my life, working at AKA NYC has given me a chance to work in an industry I care so much about.
What is your favorite memory from Evangel?
My favorite memory from Evangel was during my junior year. For years, I had wanted to write and perform a sketch at Harvest Fest or Spring Fling. The only problem was that my commitments in the Communication Department kept me too busy to join AB. However, one night, I randomly decided to write a parody of Saturday Night Live’s beloved character Stefon. I named my version Stefonie. I sent the script to AB, and the director replied instantly saying the exec team loved it, and he asked me to play the character – even though I wasn’t a member of AB. I love this memory because, one, it gave me an opportunity to show my comedic side, and, two, because it showed the openness of AB and the students involved. I may not have officially been a member of AB, but they let me join their ranks – even if it was just for one night. That was a Spring Fling I will never forget. (If you hear a student talk about “Christian Bale’ing” from chapel, you can thank me.)
How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?
Evangel played a big role in solidifying my calling. When I came in as a freshman, I thought I had life figured out – but I was wrong. Through my extracurricular activities in the Communication Department (yearbook, The Lance, ECTV/EUTV), I was able to hone in on my skills. Evangel helped me realize not only what I’m good at but also what I love – writing. And that’s what I do for a living now!
How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?
My first job after college happened because of my internship at the same company. My internship at that company happened because of my work on the Evangel yearbook. When I think back on my three years at Evangel, I know for a fact I wouldn’t be where I am in my career had it not been for the Communication Department and the professors who believed in me. Not only that, but the school’s Spiritual life helped me rid myself of a child-like faith and develop it into something more. Evangel prepared me for life after graduation in so many ways, and I’m incredibly grateful for that.
What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?
The biggest piece of advice I would give is to not give up. You will hear “no” more than you hear “yes.” It’s cliché, but it’s true. Don’t give up! You know what you’re good at. You know what you bring to the table. You know what you can do. If a company doesn’t see those things in you, it’s not the right company. Don’t lose hope because the right job WILL come along. It may take longer than your ideal timeline, but you shouldn’t lose heart. Be determined. Be professional. Be patient. I graduated in 2015 and landed my dream job in 2018. If it can happen to me, it can happen to you.
What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?
Academics and extracurricular activities can help you significantly in the job hiring process. (A well-designed résumé doesn’t hurt either.) However, two things I would look for in a new hire are passion and personality. You can teach a person a job, but you can’t teach them passion. I would want to hire someone who is excited about the work they are doing. Passion = motivation, and that makes a big difference. The second thing I would look for is a personality. Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels says that he will never hire someone that he wouldn’t want to see walking down a hallway at 3 AM the night before the show goes live. He will only hire people he truly wants to work with. That stems from a personality. Be authentic and be yourself. Be a nice person to everyone you meet (both in the working world and in your personal life) because you never know where that person will end up later in life. They very well might just hire you one day.