Amber DraperFebruary 15, 2022
Amber Draper loves people, writing, and storytelling. She currently works in her hometown of St. Louis, MO as an External Communications Coordinator for the Special School District. Prior to that, she was a marketing coordinator and event planner for the City of Brentwood and a reporter/fill-in anchor at KTVO. She has a master’s degree in Media Communications from Webster University and graduated from Truman in 2017. In her free time, she likes to go on walks, visit the beach whenever she can travel to the
coast, read, and watch movies.
What year did you graduate and what was your concentration?
I graduated in 2017 with a concentration in Journalism.
What extra-/co-curricular activities did you do?
I took on several positions at the Truman Media Network (TMN) from reporter to executive producer and was heavily involved with the Center for International Education. I worked there for all four years, was a study abroad ambassador, and studied abroad in Costa Rica for a semester. I also participated in the Alpha Phi Alpha Black and Gold Scholarship Pageant.
Did you go to grad school? If so, where? Was it immediately after you left Truman or did you wait? Why?
Yes, I enrolled in graduate school right after graduating from Truman. I have a master’s degree in Media Communications from Webster University.
What was your first job after graduation?
My first job after graduation was at KTVO in Kirksville. I was a reporter.
What work do you do/What are you doing now?
I currently work for the Special School District of St. Louis County as an External Communications Coordinator. I am primarily responsible for content development. I write articles and create videos about our nearly 25,000 students and 5,000 staff members. I also manage the district website and distribute the monthly newsletter.
How has your Liberal Arts/COMM education helped you?
My Liberal Arts/COMM education gave me work world experience. While at Truman, I learned how to operate video and studio cameras, edit footage, write a TV script, anchor live shows, and so many other things. Students at other schools may not be able to say the same, so I’m truly thankful for all the opportunities I was afforded.
Which class did you dislike at the time you took it, but now you’re grateful you took it?
I think the name of the class was Rhetoric and Civic Life. I did not like that class because it was difficult for me, but I still have the book we studied and sometimes use it as a reference for work.
What was your greatest accomplishment at Truman?
My greatest accomplishment at Truman was creating and executing my own talk show. There were a lot of late nights at Barnett Hall – staying up until 3 AM editing footage. But I had a lot of fun booking guests and getting to know the lives of other students.
Why is Truman a good place for a student to study?
Truman is a good place to study because there are teachers and other students rooting for you. Express interest in your future and communicate your goals, and there will be people willing to help you.
What would you say a COMM student should absolutely do while at Truman?
I would tell them to try everything! Communication is a broad major, so take the time to try new things and figure out what areas of the field you like and don’t like.
What advice would you give someone who wants to go into the same line of work as you?
Learn how to build professional relationships with people of all backgrounds. I interview a lot of students, parents, teachers, and administrators all over St. Louis County. It’s important to keep those relationships healthy.
What do you miss most about campus/Kirksville?
I miss going on hikes at Thousand Hills State Park. I also miss the people I met through all of the co-curricular activities I was involved in.
What tag line would you create for the COMM department at Truman?
My tag line would be: “Do the Work.”
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 teach a Public Speaking class. I love speaking in front of a crowd and would like to help others realize that it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. I’ve even considered getting my doctorate degree to be able to teach the class someday at a university.