By Merritt Whitley & Michael Wolbers
Chad Grimm and Megan Johnson both graduated from the Eastern Illinois University journalism department in May 2013 and have found employment after graduation.
Johnson currently resides in Chicago, Illinois and is working at a Hilton hotel. Her current position is in customer service, and in January she will begin working for the Hilton’s communications department. Johnson also plans on going back to school in January to brush up on her writing skills. Her future intentions are to write a book about her experiences in the hotel industry. Johnson has already begun putting together a collaboration of short stories about the lessons she has learned. Johnson’s dream job however, is to move to New York and work for Cosmopolitan magazine. She is currently working towards her journalistic goals by bettering her writing and gaining experience.
Johnson said she believes that Eastern helped her prepare for the future by providing her with useful situational experiences in public relations and writing.
Johnson’s advice for students getting ready to graduate and pursuing careers in journalism and public relations are to be optimistic.
“You are probably not going to find something right away. Things don’t always go as planned,” Johnson said. “You just have to be open minded.”
Johnson’s future plans do include returning to Eastern in the future.
“It’s hard to make time once you get into the workforce,” Johnson said. “I love Eastern, I still have close friends out there. I’ve learned so many life skills. I want to come back someday.”
Johnson is not the only Eastern graduate who is finding success after graduation.
Chad Grimm is currently employed by Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, MO as a special marketing team representative.
“I started in May working at the Busch factory giving tours of the brewery,” said Grimm. “Then I found out about my current job, I applied and I got it.”
The job has taken Grimm to a variety of places including New York and San Francisco.
“We went to Oktoberfest in San Francisco and then Fashion week in New York and I have had the chance to travel with the Cardinals during their playoff run,” said Grimm.
Even though Grimm has traveled far from Eastern’s campus, he says that things he learned at Eastern have helped him along the way,
“The great thing about taking PR courses with Terri Johnson was that you learn to be versatile,” said Grimm. “So, even though I do not necessarily have a journalism career I learned communication and speaking skills from those classes with Mrs. J.”
Going out and trying different things is key to finding what fits best for you, says Grimm.
“Just go out and be yourself. Don’t think you just have to stay with one student RSO,” said Grimm. “I found that The Agency helped me and suited me, but that necessarily does not mean it would be the right fit everyone else.”
Grimm will be working at local St. Louis events to help Anheuser-Busch support the Cardinals while they play in the World Series.