Molly Kwakenat

Molly hopes to work at a downtown ad agency one day.
Graduation year
Buffalo, MN
Strategic Communication

Why did you decide to become a strategic communication major?

I first decided that I wanted to pursue journalism back in high school when I started writing for my school newspaper "The Hoofprint" as a freshman. Our advisor, Ryan McCallum, was someone who saw the potential unknown to myself and encouraged me to run with it, and because of his impact I eventually fell in love with every aspect journalism had to offer. I took on the role as editor for various sections of the newspaper as well as eventually becoming the Student Life editor for our school's yearbook. Being able to spend my years producing content that was able to positively impact others lives was extremely important to me and I knew I would want to continue that throughout my life.

What has been your favorite part of your experience at the Hubbard School?

I think my favorite part of being in HSJMC is simply being able to take advantage of all of the resources that they have to offer to students. Whether it be the mentor program, different clubs, or the advisors, I have had an immense number of opportunities and have been able to find my path within the school to really help maximize my time. 

What class or professor has had the biggest impact on you?

I think Information for Mass Communication has had the biggest impact on me in terms of a course. Being one of the first classes you take within the major, it really set me up for the experience I would have moving forward in HSJMC. It gave me a chance not only to work with my peers and create strong relationships, but work on projects that taught me how to prepare for my future. I remember putting countless hours into our final project and thinking it was more fun to be constructing all of the research and preparing for presentations more than anything. It was really the overall experiences within the course that left an impact on me. For instructors, it is just too hard to just pick one. They all have been influential in their expertise and have all taught me valuable lessons I will continue to implement in my life.

What minors, internships, or activities are you pursuing outside of your Strategic Communications major? How do you think these enhance your study of Journalism and/or your future career plans?

Besides completing an Interdisciplinary Design minor, some of the many things I have been involved with in my time in HSJMC are the Ad Club where I held the position of social media chair for some time; Love Your Melon as the public relations manager; marketing intern for the Minnesota Daily; the communications intern for Minnesota Miss Amazing, a nonprofit program for young girls with disabilities; and currently the vice president of administration for my sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi. I am so lucky to have been able to take the things I am passionate about in life such as volunteering and philanthropy and get to relate them back to my major, and I think each one has been able to set me up for success within the industry down the road. I've been able to apply my skills that I have learned in my courses back to my positions and I think that has made all the difference in terms of being able to maximize my time while being involved. Each experience has been able to teach me where I see myself fitting in and the jobs I will hopefully have a chance to pursue post graduation.

What journalism course would you recommend for other students in your major?

Right now I am taking Psychology of Advertising and it's been one of the most intriguing classes I have taken so far. Especially if you're interested in strategy within advertising like I am, it is a great way to better understand the mind of consumers and why things work or don't work in the advertising world. I am also someone who is very into knowing why people think the way they do, and so this kind of combines that interest with my future plan of wanting to do research and strategy of consumers and niche audiences.

What is your dream job? 

I am hoping to get a chance to work in a downtown advertising agency within their strategic department, and hopefully get to spend my days working on some of my favorite brands along the way. I am a huge Minnesota girl, so while I do want to spend many of my days traveling and seeing all the world has to offer, getting to work in the heart of my home state would be a dream come true.

What are your favorite news sources?

Besides being a huge consumer of Adweek to get all of the "deets" on the advertising world, one of my favorite ways to get daily news updates is the Skimm. Being able to wake up every morning and check my email to get updated on the latest new stories before I start my day is very important to me because I always like to be kept in the loop on everything happening in the world. I also love local news, so the Minnesota Daily is always a must check since they are always up to date on what's happening around the University.

What advice do you have for future Hubbard School students?

Keep an open mind. I came into college thinking I wanted to pursue the professional journalism major without even really knowing what strategic communication was. But because of my experiences within Ad Club and meeting so many people within the major, I was able to learn where my skills fit best. Now that I'm pursuing advertising, I have never felt more at ease and comfortable with my future, I truly am excited to see where the valuable things I've learned here will take me.

Molly Kwakenat