It’s 1 pm, I have just grabbed myself a snack, and I am now pondering on whether to call Ms. Cumba right away as we had or give myself some courage before doing it. See, the thing with busy people is that they may just brush off your call and give you excuses later. Anyway, I go ahead and press the call button:
Me: Hi Ms. Cumba, it’s Nouf, you told me…
Ms. Cumba: (Cuts me short) Ooh yeah, Nouf from the PR class, I remember you contacted me yesterday, how are you?
Amazing! That’s how you know you are talking to a communication expert – they always remember, are always cheerful and in most cases ready to listen and help. To me, the interview just got off to the best start I could possibly imagine.
I begin the interview by asking the most basic question: what’s a typical week like? She tells me that after getting into the office, the first thing is to do an overview of the previous days and find out the progress of any project. The week is filled with numerous meetings, and tedious work and one must always be on toes. One important thing to note, however, is that the beginnings and endings of the week are the most exhausting. On one hand, there is the pressure to complete clients’ products, and on the other, one has to begin on new products and schedule for the following week.
Ms. Cumba’s proudest moment was when she did her first project alongside other new employees, and hers got the most approval from the boss. Well, all ladies love complementary remarks, I think to myself, but she tells me that at that moment, she realized that she had the capability to reach greater heights. However, according to Ms. Cumba, one has to know as many people in the communications industry when starting out. It is easier to get a job and guidance that way. In fact, that is the only thing she wishes she’d known before beginning her career. Nevertheless, she was lucky to have supporting workmates and a boss who allowed her to learn from her mistakes and get her career up and running.
As students, most times we are ignorant of the concepts we learn in class thinking they will not help us in the future. Ms. Cumba tells a different story. According to her, every new day opens her up to something she learned in college and which is necessary for performing a given task.
“My education has contributed to my work in the field a lot more than I had previously expected. Because communication involves every aspect of life, I believe there won’t be one thing I learn in college that I won’t be using or performing in the future,” she says.
A good communications expert must be an excellent writer. Writing is as important in post production as having one’s camera when going to shoot: “What is there to shoot without without a camera, and what is a video without a story,” She remarks. One must know how to write for the listeners and the viewers.
Since she is still new in the post production field, she notes that a lot has not changed. However, she attests to the importance of technology in her career. Technology is everything to her, and she must adapt and learn new ways of doing things using the latest available technology. Coming to think of it, I find her career to be interesting despite the loads of work she claims are associated with it. While she is not a member of the PRSA or IABC, she is part of Syc Creations, an Indiana State University creative digital multimedia and marketing team.
We’ve been on the phone for close to 30 minutes, and I feel it is time to let Ms. Cumba take a rest. After all, she’s a busy person. However, before hanging up, she leaves me with these few words:
“Hey Nouf, remember, no one can put you down. Once you want something, go for it. Trust me; you won’t fail if you do your best!”
I am now pumped up and ready to dream bigger. I couldn’t ask for more.
Ms. Christina Cumba is a Multimedia Assistant Director of Student Media at the Indiana State University.
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