Bethany (Boyle) GearyMarch 8, 2022
Bethany (Boyle) Geary is a St. Louis native and Cardinal’s fan. She was homeschooled through 12th grade before studying Communication at Truman State University. After graduating, she met and married her best-friend-for-life Matthew and became a foster mom to a sweet and spunky 12 year old. She currently lives in Sharon, PA with her family and enjoys being outdoors, swimming, and playing board games with family and friends. Bethany currently splits her time between freelance writing, homemaking, volunteering at church, and working part-time at a local chocolate factory.
What year did you graduate and what was your concentration?
I graduated in 2016 (in the great thunderstorm on the field fiasco – very memorable and I would not trade it for anything) and my concentration was journalism.
What extra-/co-curricular activities did you do?
So many things . . . I was a member of the University Swingers Swing Performance Team and TSODA dance group, had a few KTRM radio shows (format and vintage jazz), was heavily involved at The Index (the student newspaper and part of the Truman Media Network), and was inducted into the Spanish language honor society Sigma Delta Pi.
Did you go to grad school? If so, where? Was it immediately after you left Truman or did you wait? Why?
Nope. Not yet.
What was your first job after graduation?
I started working at a local Bible college part-time, and they liked my work so much the President created a new position for me: Communication & Development Coordinator. I got to write content for the web, print publications, radio ads (I was the voice too!), teach a few classes as a teaching assistant, and organize two conferences. It was a pretty amazing first job!
What work do you do/What are you doing now?
I wear many hats! These days I am wife, foster mom, freelance writer, youth volunteer at church, and part-time employee at a chocolate factory in shipping and customer service. This is definitely not how I envisioned my career path! But each of these roles is a pillar of my life and is deeply fulfilling in their own ways.
How has your Liberal Arts/COMM education helped you?
Working in student media (along with my classes) gave me lots of experience interviewing people. From those many conversations, I learned how to listen well, ask good questions, and recognize my own biases and keep them in check in order to connect with people different from myself. My student media tenure also gave me leadership experience that has been valuable in every job I’ve held. Also, I gained plenty of writing experience at Truman.
Which class did you dislike at the time you took it, but now you’re grateful you took it?
Probably the Capstone. That “culmination” type of class is unique and hard to get a grip on what is expected and where the class is leading. But looking back, it was a good experience.
What was your greatest accomplishment at Truman?
Probably serving as Editor-in-Chief of The Index. I’m so grateful I had that opportunity and I am proud of the team I led and the content we created.
Why is Truman a good place for a student to study?
The faculty and the community. It was interactions with faculty during my tour that convinced me to attend Truman. During my four years on campus, my professors let me know they cared about my education and future. I also found an amazing group of friends. The people made Truman an amazing place to learn.
What would you say a COMM student should absolutely do while at Truman?
Work for student media. Period. Even if you are not interested in a media-related career, it’s incredible work experience in content creation and working with people, both co-workers and the public.
What advice would you give someone who wants to go into the same line of work as you?
Well, if anyone is looking to have a Communication degree, focus on Journalism, and then not become a journalist, I’m your girl.
There are a lot of opportunities to write content for businesses; like blog posts, info for websites, newsletters, and more. I personally decided to study journalism because I love writing and interacting with people. I also have a busy home life as a wife and mom, and am very involved in my local community – and have determined a full-time career is not my top priority. However, I also found that I can support my family through part-time work that scratches the itch to write, and helps me thrive as a person.
What tag line would you create for the COMM department at Truman?
“Equipping students to engage and create.”
What do you miss most about campus/Kirksville?
The campus community. I made lifelong friends at Truman. I enjoyed Truman’s size too – small enough to recognize just about everyone, large enough that you can still find solitude when you need to study or want to be alone.
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?
What a fun question! It would probably be a class like – Writing Nerds Workshop: How to Turn Your Writing Obsession Into a Career.
What did we not ask that you think is important for people to know?
It’s OK to be unsure what you want to be when you grow up. I’m still uncertain! When I was a freshman, I really thought I knew what my life was going to be like. I had my plan, and I was going for it. Looking back, I think I totally looked down on people that wanted to go to college, but just didn’t know what they wanted to study. Now I know that most people change their major at least once during college. And not knowing what you want to do with your life is very normal! Most of us eventually get to that place. I think it’s a strength to recognize early that your life is more like a choose your own adventure book you write as you go than a road map.
If you would like to learn more of Bethany’s story, you can follow her lastest venture, “I Ponder as I Launder.”