Most CCPA majors know the fellows as the students who publish posts on the CCPA blog. Yes, this is true, but it is not all that the fellows do. Kate Adams and Karna Small share what it was like to be CCPA fellows. And now that Kate Adams and Karna Small are graduating, we are searching for a few new Fellows. Read about their experience and if you’re interested, see below.

CCPA Fellow
Karna Small, Gwen Wright, Kate Adams

Kate’s Experience as a Fellow

  • As I look back on my time as a Fellow, the strong relationship our team has is the most impactful part. We can sit for hours sharing our thoughts on current events, discussing a situation one of us was recently facing or laughing about personal anecdotes. These memories and connections have defined my SMU experience!
  • The weekly meetings are a great break from the chaos of our daily lives. Whenever we sit down at the Lawyer’s Inn, Biscuit Bar, or Baldos, we can take a step back from any stress we are feeling that day.
  • A benefit of being a Fellow is the opportunity to be a part of the conversations that are happening among SMU and CCPA faculty members. Whatever the situation may be, it is exciting to be in the know and feel like you have a voice.
  • After three semesters of being a Fellow, I have noticed significant personal growth. While the experience taught me very specific skills like SEO, readability, content calendars, data analytics, website creation and management, and so much more, serving as a CCPA Fellow also came with more subtle lessons. For example, I am a much more dynamic writer. Sometimes we will brainstorm an idea that sounds great, but doesn’t come to fruition in writing. I now have the confidence and ability to pivot a story idea as I am writing it. I have developed the foresight to know when a story isn’t conveying the exact point we are trying to make. This has made the process more creative!
  • On a similar note, I have learned to be more assertive in meetings. This has carried over into other positions I hold. If something isn’t working, I am not afraid to offer a different approach!
  • I have gained valuable career insights through conversations with Professor Lee, Gwen, Dr. Duhé, CCPA Advisory Board members, and others!
  • The CCPA Fellows program is so rewarding, beneficial, and fun! I have learned so much about digital communication, careers, and life.

Karna’s Experience as a CCPA Fellow

  • There is always a school-first mentality. This relieved a lot of stress during weeks that were test-heavy. Professor Lee did a great job of working around our exam schedules. We always felt comfortable asking for deadlines to be moved around.
  • The two-way communication was always very helpful. We had a group channel on Slack. This allowed us to get quick responses, even on the weekends.
  • By the end of the Fellowship, you will be able to publish an SEO perfect, readability perfect blog post on WordPress in under 30 minutes.
  • You will have published writing examples to include in your portfolio.
  • You will master podcasting. That means recruiting people to be guest speakers, recording the podcast, and editing them to publish online.
  • Succinct writing will be a beneficial takeaway.
  • There are multiple opportunities to attend alumni board meetings and other networking events.
  • Get free access to PRSA Dallas meetings
  • Working from your computer allows you to work from home or wherever it is convenient for you. This also allows you to work around your ever-changing school schedule.
  • There is a family mentality among the team. We support each other in our professional lives but also celebrate life’s victories.

If you are interested in becoming a Fellow, please contact Professor Steve Lee.