Leah Kossak

Leah Kossak '16 Lands Marketing Job

What are you getting your degree in?

I'm graduating this year on May 20th — my moms birthday — with a degree in public relations and marketing communications

What's your favorite thing about your program?

The collaboration that comes with being in the Communications Department. While there are a lot of group projects in communications, it goes far beyond that. We have our own lab and most of us can't imagine doing homework outside of it. We're all going through the same classes, or have been through them already. We help each other out, get opinions on design or are just able to talk about different or similar frustrations going on in our lives. I've had students from other departments who come in and are happily surprised by the friendliness and willingness to collaborate.

What are you most excited for at graduation?

Having my parents be there. I'm the youngest of three and the last one to graduate college. I had a teacher in high school who told us that graduation isn't about or for us, it's for the people who got us there. I believe this is even more true when it comes to college; I wouldn't be walking across that stage if it weren't for my mom and dad.

What are your plans for after graduation? 

I've accepted a position at Boston Medical Center as the Digital Communications Specialist. After graduation I'm going on a week-long trip with my siblings to Iceland and then moving to Boston officially. I'll be starting on June 13th.

What was the application process like? 

Combined with a lot of hard work and good timing, I simply got lucky with the application process. I applied to the job on a Thursday night and got an email the following Monday for an interview. I had a phone interview followed by an in-person one. After completing references, I was immediately offered the position. After some negotiating, I accepted and now I'm in a good spot. I already have a position and apartment lined up for me. Like I said, I got lucky.

Will you be decorating the top of your graduation cap?

I have a plan to put a Hamilton quote on it — along with a little happy birthday shout out to my mom. 

What's one thing you wish you had taken advantage of during your time at Simmons?

I can honestly say there's not much I wish I had done differently now that everything's worked out for me. I think the most important thing while going to college is to keep in mind that everything you do, whether you enjoy it at the time or not, is a part of your education and will ultimately help you out. Even if it's being able to say I never want to do that again or realizing you don't need to stress out as much over one exam, as the little things don't matter in the long-run. 

Don't throw away your shot, always try and remember that one thing doesn't define you, but a huge combination of things that you get to choose does.

What's the best advice you received while at Simmons?

I met with my current advisor, Professor Andrew Porter, for the first time the first semester of my sophomore year. I had no idea what I wanted to do and as soon as I met with him he had me map out the rest of my college career. He told me I should get all my core classes completed that year, take a part-time internship over the summer to get a little experience, study abroad the first semester of my junior year if I wanted, then come back to an internship in the spring. Senior year, I would take Studio 5  — a student-run agency independent learning course — first semester, then do my last big internship in the spring. 

At the time, I thought that he was crazy. But it turns out I ended up doing every single one of those, with him guiding me along the way. Professor Porter helps everyone in this way, there's always a line of students outside of his office asking for advice/help. We wouldn't have been able to get through it all without him, I'm happy to say he got the well-deserved Professor of the Year Award.

What's your Simmons Moment?

I can point out a lot of "moments" at Simmons. But the main one I can think of is when I studied abroad in London. I was at a big university with huge lectures and schools spread out all over the city. While I was there, my friends were so surprised to hear about all the different courses I had taken, as they only take courses in their specific program. One of my favorite classes I took at Simmons was nutrition! Another thing that I noticed in the business and communication schools (which were a good 45-minute Tube ride apart mind you) was the lack of enthusiasm. I ended up being the lead presenter in my group projects and was already prepared to do presentations in enthusiastic ways that weren't really used by the students there. 

My Simmons education was so different from theirs and I think our education makes us more well-rounded and better prepared to be in the field.

Photo by Jillian Jennett for CommTracks Magazine.


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