2010 alumna is director of communications for state representative Thursday, February 9, 2012
Meet Jamie Inferrera
Job title/current employer: Director of communications for Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe
Degree earned at Point Park: B.A. in journalism and mass communication
Graduation year: 2010
Hometown: Hammonton, N.J.
Now living in: Zelienople, Pa.
Why did you choose to attend Point Park University for journalism and mass communication?
From the moment I took my first campus tour, I knew I was choosing the correct college. I instantly felt a sense of community among students, faculty and staff. Everyone seemed friendly and willing to share their experiences. I also liked the non-traditional college campus setting. Students at Point Park have the unique opportunity to live right in the middle of the city, yet you can still run into friends walking down the street. That's not something you find at many colleges.
At first, I chose Point Park because of the dance program. I originally wanted to pursue a career in dance and hoped to one day become a Radio City Rockette. However, throughout my freshman year, I found a strong passion for writing and a desire to make a difference in the world.
How did you land your current job?
I actually learned about the position through the Office of Career Development. I had been working with Angela (Meiers) on my resume and she knew I was interested in pursuing a career in politics or government. My current office manager had sent the job listing to Point Park and Angela in the Career Development Office alerted me to the position, which she referred to as "my perfect job."
What is one of your favorite things about your current job?
It is really hard to narrow the list to one favorite part. The reason I initially wanted to work in politics is because I wanted to make a difference in the world. My favorite motivational quote is by Gandhi: "Be the change you wish to see in the world." That is how I approach every day in my job.
Whether it is helping a constituent resolve an issue with a state agency or planning a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., if I can help educate one person about government I feel like I'm one step closer to fulfilling my career objectives. Educating citizens through monthly publications, newsletters and social media is all part of my job. Being able to spread the message of the importance of voting and holding elected officials accountable to the constituencies they are elected to represent is where I can fully illustrate my passion for politics.
How did your time at Point Park help you prepare you for your current job?
Point Park provided me with the opportunity to hone my journalism skills by gaining real world experience. During my senior year, I took the Point Park News Service class where I was able to write stories that were published in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Trib p.m. By that time I knew I wanted to work in politics, so I was able to focus my reporting on political issues. I even had the opportunity to interview Ralph Nader and several other state elected officials.
The School of Communication also encouraged students to pursue internships within their desired fields. I completed two political internships, one with a congressman and the other with a United States senator. Those opportunities gave me the experience I needed to land my current job.
What was one of your favorite experiences while you were at Point Park?
My favorite experience while I was at Point Park was the time I spent working with the Honors Program. I can truly say that the Honors Program made my Point Park experience.
For two years I served as president of the Honors Student Organization. I helped develop and facilitate programs that still continue to this day. My proudest moment was when I was elected as one of two student representatives for the Northeast Regional Honors Council. We were tasked with planning all of the student social activities for the annual conference. It was a great experience in event planning, and I also built lasting relationships with students and faculty members from colleges all across the Northeast region.
What advice do you have for students considering a career in communications?
Make the most of your time at Point Park. Get to know your professors, because chances they know the ins-and-outs of communications and have connections to people currently working in the field. Also, networking is a key factor to landing your first job out of college. Get out and meet as many people as you can. And as one professor once told me, "You'll never have more time than now."