Tay Stephens

Tay Stephens

December 8, 2020

Tay Stephens (2020)

Tay Stephens is an advertising professional currently living in the Los Angeles area.  She specializes in digital operations and is a strategic thinker.  After leaving Truman, she earned her MA at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.  When not working, Tay enjoys time with family a friends in the wonderful weather of southern California.

What year did you graduate and what was your concentration?

I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Communication in 2015.

What extra-/co-curricular activities did you do?

I worked for the KTRM and the TV station (now KTRM Studios) as a writer and producer. I participated in the Illusions Dance Team and co-founded the Minority Ambassadors Program.

Did you go to grad school? If so, where?  Was it immediately after you left Truman or did you wait?  Why?

I attended The Chicago School of Professional Psychology for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. I entered the program in 2016 remotely and completed it in the summer of 2019 in my new home of Southern California on their Irvine, CA campus.

What was your first job after graduation?

A Digital Associate for an agency called True Media located in Columbia, MO.

What work do you do/What are you doing now?

Currently I’m a media operations specialist at Dollar Shave Club, a DTC company based in LA owned by Unilever.

How has your Liberal Arts/COMM education helped you?

Tay just hanging out (2019).

My education gave me a strong work ethic and always provided me with assignments that were reflective of much of the work I face now. In addition, Truman is great about encouraging students to design their own experience.  I think this teaches a valuable lesson of being a self-starter which is helpful for succeeding.

Which class did you dislike at the time you took it, but now you’re grateful you took it?

I didn’t have a class I truly hated, but statistics was never my friend. Ironically to earn my MA, I had to pass the course again and ended up falling in love with analysis. It is now a core function of my role.

What was your greatest accomplishment at Truman?

My greatest accomplishment was founding an organization to recruit college students (Minority Ambassadors Program) and watching it continue to grow.

Why is Truman a good place for a student to study?

Truman is a good close knit community that still offers a chance for students to explore. Truman also offers a unique experience where you’re closer with your professors than many places I heard of.

What would you say a COMM student should absolutely do while at Truman?

Work for student media in some capacity, it doesn’t matter the outlet. At Mizzou many students have to wait until nearly Junior year to build up their resume, but Truman let’s you join from day one. Take advantage of this.  Many of the opportunities I had coming out of school happened becasue I worked in the student media.

What advice would you give someone who wants to go into the same line of work as you?

Work hard, stay focused and be open to be taken off of the path you imagined, as long as the end destination is the same.

What do you miss most about campus/Kirksville?

Lunches in the SUB, waiting to see friends between class, and summers at Thousand Hills. Hanging out in the halls of Barnett.  Just the aura of being in your own little world.

Tay surprised the interview is over (2019).

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?

I would definitely teach rhetoric or public communication. I really always loved those classes the most.  After spending more time in a product-based world doing marketing in what are really unprecedented times has definitely brought many of the core principles of communication to the forefront.


If you would like to learn more of Tay’s story, or you want to learn more about the Department of Communication, contact us!