Columbian College alumni from media, entertainment, politics and other industries, offer advice to the Class of 2019 for achieving professional and personal success.
"Breaking into a career may seem impossible—it can even feel that way years later! But don’t be afraid to chase what excites you and find a way into your dream job. Remember, you can learn a lot from people who have already been where you want to be and who are willing to share not only how they succeeded, but also how they’ve failed."
—Chris Cerbo, BA ’95 (Radio, Television)
Senior Vice President, Marketing Partnerships, Twentieth Century Fox
"You all have the ability to influence and make a difference in somebody’s life, and you should. Give back to your community and create opportunities for others. There is no greater feeling than making a difference in the life of another person."
—Gil Cisneros, BA ’94 (Political Science)
Member of Congress (D-Calif.)
"Keep an open mind and make sure you have grit and perseverance. When you are getting started with your career and trying new things, the highs are high, and the lows are really low. Make sure you have a professional and personal support system to help you through the tough times."
—Jennifer L. Maher, BA ’04 (Psychology, Criminal Justice)
Chief Executive Officer, 1776
"First, be passionate about life. Life is short; tomorrow comes quickly. Second, follow your passions, be they your career, avocation or family. Finally, dream big. One never achieves happiness without reaching beyond what you thought, or what others have told you, are your limits. Oh, and have fun. Life is great."
—Alex Nyerges, BA ’79, MA ’82 (Anthropology, American Civilization)
Director, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
"Practice listening to yourself. What is it that you really, really want? Not what sounds good or looks good on paper. Only you have the answer to that. Do quality work no matter how crappy the job might be. Learn to manage your money, especially if you are a woman."
—Claritza Jimenez, BA ’05 (Political Communication)
Senior Producer, POLITICO
"Be grateful for whatever it is you are about to accomplish professionally. It’s healthy to be ambitious but don’t let ambition cause you to miss out on the pride you will deserve to feel."
—David Holt, BA ’01 (Political Science)
Mayor, Oklahoma City