Claire DuranNovember 19, 2019
Claire is a grateful Truman alumnus. Leaving in 2015, she was overwhelmed at what her future might look like. She took a leap of faith, moved to Texas and hasn’t looked back. Claire took a “gap year” and became a leader in the education sector with City Year. Working with at-risk youth put her through challenges she couldn’t learn in a classroom. Fast forward four years later, and Claire is now in Talent Acquisition with Whataburger, has expertise as a Sourcer at Google, and has one foot in the door with the corporate world. Her education, friendship and the community at Truman will forever stick with her.
What year did you graduate and what was your concentration?
I graduated in May 2015 with a concentration in Public Communication.
What extra-/co-curricular activities did you do?
I was a member of Delta Zeta and Alpha Kappa Psi. I also served on the Homecoming Committee, worked at KTRM, and was a member of the Student Philanthropy Council.
Did you go to grad school? If so, where? Was it immediately after you left Truman or did you wait? Why?
I have not gone to grad school yet, but soon will be. I have been accepted to the University of Texas at San Antonio for Public Administration.
What was your first job after graduation?
City Year San Antonio – An AmeriCorps program focused on tutoring and mentorship of at-risk youth.
What work do you do/What are you doing now?
I currently am on the Talent Acquisition team with Whataburger in San Antonio, TX. I recruit leadership roles in the Operations side of the business; to include multi-unit managers, Directors and Regional Directors. Prior to this, I recruited for software engineers at Google.
How has your Liberal Arts/COMM education helped you?
My degree has helped me to have a more well-rounded perspective on everything – I believe I am better able to see multiple sides to a situation and can analyze complex problems. I will always fell the impact my professors in the COMM department left on me as they pushed me to see the world in its entirety.
Which class did you dislike at the time you took it, but now you’re grateful you took it?
Logic – This class was unlike anything I can explain. It was the only course I took that required me to go to tutoring minimum two times a week. It forced me to focus, and to think outside of the box. It was definitely the class that showed me I can accomplish anything if I put my mind to it.
What was your greatest accomplishment at Truman?
Completing my degree – several different obstacles and distractions came my way, so I remain proud of myself for receiving my degree in four years. (Editor’s note: We’re proud of you too).
Why is Truman a good place for a student to study?
I think the environment built us to be independent. I was able to develop healthy study habits on my own while being near motivated friends who wanted to study with me in the library or the SUB.
What would you say a COMM student should absolutely do while at Truman?
Get involved in whatever you like. Take a chance and run for a leadership role in whatever organizations you join. Being a leader in clubs and organizations have helped me to develop a voice and taught me to be true to myself.
What advice would you give someone who wants to go into the same line of work as you?
Practice time management. We learn it in college on our own when creating our class schedules, organizing study hours and coordinating in social events. Take it with you in your career; a huge part of my role is strategizing my time and utilizing it in the most productive way. Creating a schedule and staying loyal to it has increased my successes.
What do you miss most about campus/Kirksville?
Jefferson Street – it was a blast always finding a friend when you walked outside.
What tag line would you create for the COMM department at Truman?
“Communication NOT Communications – it may not be a major listed on job applications, but stick to it!”
If you could come back to Truman and teach a class for a semester, what would be its title and what would it be about?
The Impact of a Gap Year – it would show students the various programs available to them that could qualify as a gap year, how to apply to programs, peer edits on essays, interview preparation, guides on budgets, ways to cope being away from home, meditation, support groups, networking events. I would want recent grads, or even students still in college, to understand that a gap year can be valuable and can help set you up for future success in your career.
What did we not ask that you think is important for people to know?
Be sure to look out for your mental health. Don’t be afraid to use campus resources.
If you would like to learn more of Claire’s story, you can learn more about her by following her on LinkedIn.