ElliottAmanda Elliott '12 graduated with a degree in Organizational Communication and a determination to make her own way as a marketing consultant and blogger in Chicago. Check out her fun and successful blog at www.windycitycosmo.com and read on to find out what she's learned along the way to where she is!

Q: What is it like being a Chicago blogger?
A: I've done a few speaking engagements including Bloggers Meet Startups. This month I will be speaking at SheSays Chicago, a local chapter of a global organization for graphic design and creative professionals helping to advance women in their careers. They asked me to do a mentor talk to help people with networking. I was invited to Paris Fashion Week and the first photo is me with one of the designers. I also covered Chicago's Fashion Week and the second photo is me with one of the fashion interns. I believe that it's Important to pursue what you're passionate about even if you're not in that job or industry at the moment. I was going to networking events and tech events to see what professionals are doing in Chicago, but I wasn't being known as a thought leader. This was an opportunitiy to advance my career and have fun in the city. If you feel like you can't offer value, you have to create value for yourself.

Q: How did internships prepare your for where you are today?
A: I've always done marketing writing, either freelance or blogging. You have to figure out what you're interested in and stick with it. I had 5 internships while I was in college, from sophomore to senior year. Some people stick with one internship and progress with it. I think that's valuable too, but for me, I wanted to check out different facets of marketing journalism and communication, and these different companies showed me different ways of doing that. Either approach is fine as long as you're making connections. With internships, you shouldn't be afraid to progress. It's important to practice what you're learning in class and take initiative to gain a more valuable experience.

Q: What advice do you have for CAS students?
A: People don't realize that it's good to know both the technical as well as the creative sides of marketing and communications. The coding and tech side is really important to round out your experience and knowledge. The Organizational Communication major is like the combination of business and communication. In your job you will learn all kinds of skill sets. This degree taught me how to learn; it was a stepping stone.