Meet Communications Major Samantha Abear

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Sammie, a Communications major who hails from Illinois, shares her story.

Samantha Abear

Samantha Abear


My Internship at FAO
I never imagined I would be volunteering at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations when I started at JCU in Fall 2013 to study Communications. After my freshman year at Seattle University, I transferred to JCU to be in Europe and in a more international environment. Because of JCU’s small, intimate nature, it was easy to quickly meet other students, staff and faculty, and fit right in. Upon arrival, I began working in the Financial Aid Office, as well as engaging with the JCU Theater Society. I returned to the Seattle area the following summer to work on a farm for the summer. When I returned, I was very interested in continuing to pursue my love for agriculture and the environment.

It was Professor Margaret Kneller‘s course “Food and Agriculture” that introduced me to the idea of working for one of the three United Nations’ food programs headquartered here in Rome. With a lot of hard work and networking, I got a four-month contract to volunteer with the Mountain Partnership, a UN alliance housed at FAO. Currently a senior in communications, I am working 20 hours per week for the Mountain Partnership, writing content for their social media platforms as well as drafting and editing information about their members and events. I also recently received an institutional medal from the Italy-USA Foundation in the Italian Parliament.

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The communication skills I use at FAO were refined in my classes and in the student jobs I have held at JCU, in the Financial Aid and Web Communications offices. Furthermore, Professor Michèle Favorite‘s Business Communications course taught me the essentials of resume and cover letter writing. These experiences prepared me for the tasks and responsibilities currently required of me in my work with the Mountain Partnership.

Rome is a city full of possibilities, and if you take advantage of the great references and resources available at JCU, it is possible to make your professional goals come true. The majority of the professors I have had personally or encountered at JCU have attended world-class universities and come from distinguished professional backgrounds. These are the same professors who are eager and willing to have coffee with students to help them with questions they may have, either academic or otherwise. I am grateful for the support JCU has given me and I look forward to what the future holds after graduation next spring.

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