Are you a student in SC&I’s Master of Communication and Media Program interested in networking and attending events with your classmates? The Graduate Student Association is here to help.
The Master of Communication and Media (MCM) Graduate Student Association (GSA) is a student organization that fills the gap between the students in the program and the professors/staff.
GSA brings any student concerns and ideas to improve the program to SC&I on behalf of the students. The MCM GSA also works together to plan various events during each semester and really encourages students to get involved as much as possible.
Networking is a big part of success at SC&I, and the GSA works hard to provide students with the opportunity to network as often as possible.
The interview below with Jaclyn Kukuch, president of the GSA, is the first in a series of two interviews with GSA members. The second is with Elizabeth Matusiak, the GSA's Vice President.
The two interviews are designed to introduce MCM students to their GSA leaders and get a sense of how they too can get involved in the GSA.
Meet Jaclyn Kukuch, President of the GSA
What are your responsibilities working with New Student Orientation & Family Programs?
We help welcome, prepare and engage new undergraduate students and their parents/family members to Rutgers through orientation and events. I am responsible for many of the administrative and logistical tasks that help run orientation including registration, scheduling and confirmation of campus partners, ordering and creation of marketing materials, pulling records and reports, submission of all procurement items, hiring and onboarding student workers, and updating social media pages.
Why did you choose to be a student in the MCM program?
I received my BA in Public Relations & minor in Sociology from William Paterson University but haven’t done much with PR since graduation. I have worked in related communication fields such as human resources/recruiting and administration, but wanted to get more into the communication aspect of the workforce. I was intrigued to learn about the e-portfolio class in the MCM program and how it helps create a personal brand for yourself. I thought that was so unique and beneficial than just simply creating a Capstone project to graduate. Communication also comes is various forms; the skills you learn in comm classes are easily transferrable into other fields which opens up doors for a wide selection of career opportunities.
What do you see yourself doing once you are done? How do you think this degree will help in the future?
I am one of those people that never truly knows what I want. I was undeclared until the last possible second during undergrad, and have found myself in various roles after graduation. I currently enjoy working in student affairs, and would probably like to move up in this field, or get into a more communication focused or marketing role within the University. I would also love to work for athletics – I think that would be really fun and interesting! This degree prepares you in all aspects of communication, and the resources and connections you make are there to help students reach their goals.
What opportunities have you found to be the most helpful here at SC&I and part of the MCM program?
I really enjoy being in such a diverse population and learning from others and their experiences. Being able to network with other students and professors has been really helpful in learning about different communication strategies, technologies, and even opportunities outside of traditional communications roles. SC&I Career Services is also an amazing resource that I hope everyone takes advantage of!
What is your position in the MCM Graduate Student Association? Why did you choose to serve as an officer on the MCM Graduate Student Association?
I am the President of the MCM GSA. I wanted to do more than just attend class and leave – I wanted to make a difference and meet students outside of my classes. It’s also a great opportunity to work closely with MCM & SC&I staff and faculty, as well as other departments on and off campus. It’s all about making connections!
What are your personal goals you wish to achieve by being an officer?
I really want to make the most out of going back to school. Being an officer gives me the opportunity to connect with others and understand all of the benefits Rutgers and SC&I has to offer. Also, I want to help other students succeed in the program, especially if they’re struggling. I chose to go back to school with two small children, a hectic full-time job, and a crazy personal life – if I can do it, so can you!
What message would you like to get out to the students about this organization and the work it seeks to do?
GSA wants to ensure that each student has a memorable experience during their time here at Rutgers. Students come from all different backgrounds, and it’s important that we learn from our classmates and professors and not rely heavily on the readings for class (although important!). We really try to create a community where we can enhance our educational growth in addition to professional development. Try new things – take a class you normally wouldn’t take, talk to the person next to you, get involved with an activity on campus, attend events and workshops. Challenge yourself. Surprise yourself. Everyone is busy, but it’s finding those little things that can make a huge difference.