Aaliyah ButlerOctober 19, 2021
Originally from St. Louis, MO, Aaliyah Butler is now a Senior Communications Specialist at Howard University and lives in Washington, DC. Most evenings, she works part time as a sports broadcast producer for Sirius XM Radio. When she is not scheduling photoshoots and writing press releases, she is traveling the east coast, in the gym, or spending time with her dog, Remi.
What year did you graduate and what was your concentration?
I graduated in 2017 with a concentration in public communicaiton.
What extra-/co-curricular activities did you do?
I was on staff at KTRM, working in the Sports Department. I also was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and I participated in the Miss Black & Gold Pageant.
Did you go to grad school? If so, where? Was it immediately after you left Truman or did you wait? Why?
I received my Master of Arts in Strategic Communications from Lindenwood University a year after I graduated from Truman. I waited because I wanted to be sure of what path of communication I wanted to take.
What was your first job after graduation?
It wasn’t glorious, but I was a hostess at a restaurant in my hometown, St. Louis, MO.
What work do you do/What are you doing now?
I am a Senior Communications Specialist at Howard University and a part time producer at Sirius XM Sports.
How has your Liberal Arts/COMM education helped you?
My Liberal Arts/COMM education taught me how to be an effective communicator, which is important in any profession. It has taught me to articulate my point, understand who my audience is, be flexible in my approach, and persuade/inform using multiple strategies.
Which class did you dislike at the time you took it, but now you’re grateful you took it?
I disliked Rhetoric (sorry, Dr. Self). With that said, I am now grateful I took it because that course taught me to think twice about the message I am trying to convey to my audience, both verbally and nonverbally.
Why is Truman a good place for a student to study?
Truman is a good place for a student to study because I believe all Truman students share a common goal of being the best they can be. So it is great to be around like-minded individuals who inspire you to keep going, try harder, and be better.
What was your greatest accomplishment at Truman?
My greatest accomplishment at Truman was choosing COMM as a major. It was when I chose to be true to myself. I found the path that I wanted to take in my career.
What would you say a COMM student should absolutely do while at Truman?
Get involved. I know it sounds corny, but it’s true. The activities you do while in college give you credibility and experience outside of your classwork.
What advice would you give someone who wants to go into the same line of work as you?
Give yourself grace. Don’t be too hard on yourself. In this line of work, you represent a company or institution. That can be a lot of pressure. Rely on your team. Set your boundaries. Control what you can control.
What do you miss most about campus/Kirksville?
The peacefulness and accessibility of Kirksville. I live in Washington, DC now and it is much busier and louder.
What tag line would you create for the COMM department at Truman?
“Change the narrative.”
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 class would be titled, “Making Opportunities.” It would be a PR class on collaborating with various external media outlets, such as The Washington Post, TMZ, entertainment companies, Patch.com, third-party marketing companies, etc.
What did we not ask that you think is important for people to know?
Something along the lines of how I got to this position. In school, I did not get an internship and I thought it was the end of the world. I thought I would never work in the field that I wanted to work in, but everything worked out fine.