A Degree Earned in Full: Communications Major Lydia Smith

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Hailing from West Sacramento, California, Lydia Smith is a graduating senior at John Cabot University. Majoring in Communications, with a minor in Creative Writing, she has been very active in campus life. She is the Vice President of Theatre Society, Managing Editor of ‘The Matthew‘ newspaper, and Secretary of The Fashion Club.

Lydia Smith

Graduating senior Lydia Smith

Now that you’re graduating, what part of your college career makes you most proud?
When I graduate in May I will have zero debt. I have paid for every single year of my college career on my own. I’ve worked multiple jobs every summer, sometimes taking a leave of absence to continue full time work, and successfully obtained private and school sponsored scholarships. This is probably my single greatest achievement. The day I receive my diploma I will be able to say that I worked for, paid for, and earned that piece of paper. That will be the most amazing feeling.

What are your plans after JCU? What attracts you to Communications?
Summer after graduation I will be returning to California to work for Del Monte Foods Inc., as a Field Representative. I drive a pickup truck, inspect orchards, communicate with growers, coordinate daily harvesting reports, and oversee field management for pear season. It is something I never imagined doing but I love it. The experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve met while working for Del Monte Foods have shaped my professional career in many ways. Who would’ve thought a Communications degree would take me to a job in agricultural? Luckily, John Cabot teaches the various skills for jobs and careers that can used anywhere in multiple ways.

What is your career goal?
At the age of twelve, I knew I wanted to become a film director. When I was fifteen I discovered theatre, which I continued to pursue. Sophomore year I realized I had a talent for screenwriting. My junior year I started a love/hate relationship with Journalism. As a senior, I have grown fond of writing fiction, poetry, and blogging. Entering into any of these professions after I graduate would be thrilling! I still plan on working in the film industry someday (my dream job would be a screenwriter for BBC or a showrunner for Amazon Studios/Netflix) but for now, I look forward to the many opportunities a Communications degree will offer me after this semester ends. Wherever I go, or whatever job I do, I feel confident that the Communications department at JCU has fully prepared me for the various aspects of the working world.

How did you decide to apply to/find out about John Cabot?
I spent 2 years at a private liberal arts college in Los Angeles but was looking to transfer elsewhere. When my brother was a senior in high school he received information from various colleges. One day while sorting the mail, I came across a postcard inviting him to JCU which peaked my interest. I’d never been to Italy, but had lived in Europe before college so I was eager to return. I applied for more information, and a possible transfer, and found out nearly all of my credits were transferable. I arrived in Spring 2015 and have never regretted my decision to transfer.

Any advice for a new student starting out at JCU?
My best piece of advice is that your first choice might not end up being your final choice. The school you choose does not have to be perfect. Don’t worry if you change your mind —we are allowed to do that as college students. Never feel the pressure to stay at one school because it will “look bad” or “this school sounds better on my resume”. Go to the school that’s right for you. Don’t be afraid to take a gap year, get a job, travel, gain some real life experience, and then attend college. If you don’t feel confident about a particular school, then don’t waste your time or money by getting into debt and going somewhere where you might be miserable. Explore the world and find what interests you and gives you passion. Eventually the right college will come along when you are ready.