A CCPA alumna experienced first-hand CCPA relationships at work when she landed an impressive job upon graduation this past December. Yamleque Murillo is the most recent addition to the Hill + Knowlton Strategies Fellowship and is a great example of a student tapping into the SMU CCPA relationships and network to make important career decisions.

Yamlique MurrowNot Part of the “Plan”

When asked about her path to her new Fellowship, Murillo admitted that she is a very “Type A” person who had her classes and internships planned from the moment she transferred to SMU.  Hill + Knowlton Strategies was not part of her original plan, however, and her SMU CCPA relationships and professors helped her get there.

She worked as an intern to fulfill her CCPA internship credit with a different company and was offered a paid position for the fall semester. But she questioned if that company’s culture would be the right fit for her.

Unsure if this was an important factor to consider for a first job, Murillo confided in Dr. Sandra Duhé who insisted that she should keep her options open and instilled the confidence in Murillo that she needed to follow her instincts. Dr. Duhé connected Murillo with a senior executive at H+K, but knew that Murillo would have arrived there on her own at some point. Murillo thanks Dr. Duhé and all of the professors who helped her along the way. She plans on staying in touch with them as her career blossoms.

Tell Someone, Even if You Feel Silly

Utilizing the SMU CCPA relationships and network is something Murillo encourages students to continue. Her biggest piece of advice to current students is to voice their dreams and career aspirations. “Tell someone else about it even if you feel silly, people are listening and want to help make that happen.”

As a CCPA student, Murillo wished she had realized how much the professors, advisors, and leaders were there to help. Murillo described her “ah ha” moment in the class “Introduction to Newswriting for Public Relations” as she felt extremely overwhelmed by the daunting AP style. Her conversation with Professor Candy Crespo was so kind and honest that it transformed how Murillo interacted with her professors during the rest of her years in the program.

Murillo always made it a point to introduce herself and tell the professor why she was in the class which allowed her to see how impactful the CCPA professors are in their field as they shared their work, experiences, and connections with her. “People will tell you that they are there to help you, and you think it’s this thing that they have to say. But they mean it.”

In CCPA, this desire to help lasts long after their students graduate, as seen with the impressive Yamleque Murillo.