Gemma Kumaraea (BA ‘17, communication studies) confesses that the University of Minnesota Twin Cities was not her first choice.
“I’m afraid I don’t have a very interesting story of why I picked [it],” she says. What can she say? The U of M offered her the best financial aid package. “But looking back, it really ended up working out well.”
Like many undergraduates, Kumaraea considered different majors. She ultimately settled on a communication studies degree because of its versatility.
“I realized, you can take it in any direction. When I was looking at the types of classes you could take, it was a good mixture of theory-based classes and skills-based classes.”
Because of the flexibility that the U of M College of Liberal Arts provides, Kumaraea was able to build an education that allowed her to explore many different areas, including psychology, global studies, and language.
Developing her skills in oral and written communication, as well as teamwork and leadership, prepared her for the opportunities that were ahead.
Kumaraea also interned at a number of organizations, which helped her gain skills that she is using in her current position as a development and membership associate at Jewish Community Action.
“There’s a huge emphasis on how you are going to use your communication skills for the betterment of society,” she says. “I feel that [communication studies] is really a future-focused department.”