Paige YungermannMarch 2, 2021
Paige Yungermann is a higher education practitioner at National Louis University. She works with prospective students who want to study Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management, and the best perk to her job is all the free food prepared by the culinary students. Paige is also working towards an MEd in Higher Education from Wilmington University. She’s originally from St. Louis, MO and has lived in Chicago, IL since 2017. Between working full time and taking grad school classes, Paige does not have much free time, but when she can, she enjoys cycling, swimming in Lake Michigan, and planning all of her post-COVID vacations.
What year did you graduate and what was your concentration?
I graduated in 2016 with a concentration in Journalism and a second major in English.
What extra-/co-curricular activities did you do?
I worked for the Truman Media Network and at the Writing Center, and I was a member of Alpha Sigma Gamma.
Did you go to grad school? If so, where? Was it immediately after you left Truman or did you wait? Why?
I am currently completing an online Master of Education in Higher Education from Wilmington University. I didn’t go to grad school right after Truman because I was still figuring out my career path. I also took some time after my undergrad to travel and teach English in Thailand. It was a couple years after graduating from Truman that I decided to pursue a career in higher education, which eventually led me to grad school.
What work do you do/What are you doing now?
I now work as an Enrollment Specialist at National Louis University in Chicago. I work with prospective students, helping them through the application process and making sure they are prepared to start classes at NLU.
What was your first job after graduation?
My first job was teaching English in Thailand. This was an amazing way to get to live abroad and make money to cover my living expenses. I would highly recommend this experience to anyone. After a semester of teaching, I returned to the U.S. and worked as a Content Specialist for a construction data company in Chicago. Basically, I networked with architects and collected data on construction projects. It was not the most exciting job, but it allowed me to move to Chicago, which was a goal of mine.
How has your Liberal Arts/COMM education helped you?
A Communication degree gives you such a solid foundation no matter what career you’re looking to pursue, or if you’re still figuring out your career goals. There are so many transferable skills that will prepare you for any career path. My current job includes a lot of outreach and establishing relationships with prospective students at the university. Setting up interviews for a story I was writing for TMN and building relationships with my interviewees really gave me a lot of skills I need to be successful in my current job. Also, written communication skills are a huge asset in any role.
Which class did you dislike at the time you took it, but now you’re grateful you took it?
Public Speaking – I can be a bit quiet, so Public Speaking was not exactly my favorite class. However, most careers are going to include some element of public speaking, and it’s really important to have some public speaking skills before graduating college.
What was your greatest accomplishment at Truman?
All the hard work myself and my classmates did while reporting on the Iowa Caucuses. In 2016, during my senior year at Truman, I was part of a group of students who went to Iowa to report on the caucauses for TMN. It was such an exhausting weekend, but that was some of the best work I did during my entire time at Truman and such a unique experience.
Why is Truman a good place for a student to study?
As someone who works in higher education and studies higher education as a Masters student, I’ve really come to realize how unique Truman is. You get such a high-quality education for the price. I was able to graduate from Truman debt-free, and I did not realize what a big deal that was until I saw how much student loan debt affects the lives and finances of my friends who went to more expensive schools. You will truly get a great education at Truman from professors who really care about you, and you can’t beat the price.
What would you say a COMM student should absolutely do while at Truman?
I highly recommend working for the Truman Media Network and/or doing an internship. It’s great to get some “work world” experience like this before you graduate. Also, definitely study abroad for a semester if you can. I did an exchange semester in Austria with a program called ISEP, which is a very affordable option. You won’t regret it!
What advice would you give someone who wants to go into the same line of work as you?
If you want to work in higher education, be prepared to get your Masters degree. A Masters degree is a requirement for most jobs within higher education and certainly a requirement for promotional opportunities.
What do you miss most about campus/Kirksville?
Having breakfast late at night at Pancake City (I’m only kind of joking)! In all seriousness, as much as I love Chicago, I do think there are advantages to going to college in a small town and being part of a smaller campus. I loved how during my time at Truman, I was always guaranteed to run into friends wherever I went.
What tag line would you create for the COMM department at Truman?
“COMM – A great foundation for your career.”
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?
Women in the Workplace – This class would cover topics like salary negotiations/asking for a raise, maintaining a work-life balance, and how to position yourself for a promotion. These are all challenges I’ve encountered or have seen my female friends and colleagues struggle with, and I would love to better prepare college women for these things before they enter the workforce.
What did we not ask that you think is important for people to know?
It’s okay to not have all of your career goals figured out. Communication is really great because there are so many directions you can take it, and you’re not boxed into anything like you would be with a more narrow degree like education or accounting. If you had asked me during my time at Truman what my career goals were, I would not have said higher education, but I’m happy I ended up here.
If you would like to learn more of Paige’s story, you can follow her on LinkedIn.