By: Heather Cox
Amanda Gubbins graduated in 2012 with a major in communication studies and a minor in Public Relations.
Gubbins grew up in Evansville, Indiana and when the time came to look at colleges, she began looking at Christian colleges. Unsure of exactly what it was she wanted to study, Gubbins started by looking at the communication programs offered at different schools. Her piano teacher had a daughter who had been at Indiana Wesleyan, and they told Gubbins a communication building had recently been built, and suggested she look into it.
Upon visiting IWU’s campus, Gubbins said she was very impressed with not only the communication program, but with the overall atmosphere of campus. Ultimately, she decided IWU would be a good fit for her, and her college search ended.
Gubbins had decided to look into communication studies because she had grown up around it. Her dad was a video guy, and she had always enjoyed media and writing, so she was looking for something which combined those gifts and talents together.
While living on campus, Gubbins was also involved with a variety of activities. She worked with the radio station for one semester, and also did things for the communication division, such as being a part of different panels that would take place. She was also very involved in residential life.
“I was always involved in residential life with my dorm. I worked at the desk for a couple different years. I never was an RA, but my junior year I was roommates with an RA, and we lived on a floor with all freshman girls, which was really fun because I got to be the big sister to the unit,” Gubbins said.
Gubbins also became involved with her church and the community of Marion. She began an internship with the City of Marion, working alongside the Marketing Director. She wrote a lot of press releases for community events, and was able to help with a bike race which was held every summer.
“I was working right in City Hall located downtown, so I got to know the area a little bit more and actually make friends with some of the people in the office,” Gubbins said. “It showed me a different side of Marion we didn’t usually see from campus, and gave me the opportunity to get off campus and try some different things.”
The biggest thing about IWU Gubbins appreciated, was how intentional professors and faculty were about teaching how to integrate faith into the workplace.
“Now I’m working full time, and I still find myself thinking back on those things we talked about,” Gubbins said. “What does it mean to be a world changer each day in everyday life, and when you are in the workplace how do you take those opportunities to live out your faith?”
Before graduating from IWU, Gubbins had hoped to become a Communication Director for a non-profit or a missions oriented organization. Though she is not currently in that position, she can still see herself doing that in the future.
Following graduation, Gubbins moved out to Southern California to join her family who had recently moved there. She became heavily involved in her church, volunteering with various things, when a friend from church recommended she looked into Specialized Equipment Market Association, or SEMA.
Gubbins took the opportunity and began as an administrative assistant at SEMA, doing a lot of event preparation. In addition to this, the company also wanted someone with writing skills to write a monthly column for the magazine they had.
Gubbins said IWU’s Digital Storytelling class within the Communication Department helped her gain this position, as she was able to show them a portfolio of her work including writing, photography and voiceovers.
“Through that, I got to start working with our publications team here because I connected with them and wanted to learn more about how to do that better,” Gubbins said. “I started working with them closely, and then it was about 2 ½ years later and a position opened up for Managing Editor for the monthly magazine so I got to start doing that too.”
Gubbins said she really loves what she is doing now, and could see herself doing humanitarian work or missions work in the future, using the skills she is developing at SEMA.
Written by Heather Cox, guest writer for the Alumni Office. Heather is a Junior Journalism major at IWU. She is also the Editor of GrantCOnnected.net, a community news site run by IWU students. She is unsure of where life will take her after college, but she knows she never wants to stop writing!