Coe public relations graduates find success in a wide variety of career opportunities in the broad categories of public relations, marketing and journalism.
Some graduates work as television reporters and anchors as well as newspaper writers and editors. Other graduates have successful careers in public relations, communications and marketing as writers, webmasters, media buyers, specialists, or sales representatives.
Those students continuing on to graduate schools have entered noted programs such as Communication Studies at the University of Northern Iowa and Advertising at the University of Texas – Austin. Others have entered MBA programs. Public relations majors at Coe are well prepared for professional success or graduate study.
Kolbie Creger graduated from Coe in 2015 majoring in public relations and communication studies. She is a native of Winterset, Iowa, but currently resides in Cedar Rapids. As a Kohawk, she spent two years interning in the Coe College Office of Marketing and Public Relations. Kolbie now works as a marketing communications specialist for UnityPoint Health St. Luke's Hospital.
"My experience at Coe exceeded all expectations. I met students and professors who changed the way I think, opened my mind and made me a better version of myself. In the classroom, I discovered my passion for writing, my instinct to work hard and my appreciation for meaningful conversations. As an intern, I established trust in my abilities, narrowed down my career path and ultimately discovered my potential. In what seems like the shortest four years of my life, Coe gave me the resources I needed to grow, explore and thrive."
Logan Keehner graduated from Coe in 2014 majoring in business administration and public relations. Originally from Guttenberg, Iowa, Logan now lives in Austin, Texas. He works as an Account Executive at an advertising agency where he discusses advertising goals with clients and works with the creative team to accomplish them.
"While at Coe I was able to branch out beyond my public relations and business majors by gaining experience in areas of advertising, marketing and communications through multiple internships. The Coe experience also allowed me to hone these skills through leadership positions in campus organizations. After college, this experience allowed me to take on a wider range of responsibilities in the workplace, making me a more versatile and valuable employee."
Michael Anderson graduated from Coe College in 2013, with majors in business administration and public relations, and a minor in philosophy. Originally from Marshalltown, Iowa, Anderson now works as the Coordinator of Special Events and Summer Conferences at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
"Coe gave me all the tools I needed to be successful: personal guidance and support from faculty and staff, rigorous and paradigm-shifting academic coursework, and opportunities for leadership and collaboration inside and outside the classroom. Professors at Coe do not teach you what to think. Instead, they work to build a love of questioning and learning; the ability to bring critical thinking skills to any issue - whether it arises in a personal, professional or academic setting. The writing-intensive, analysis-based liberal arts curriculum that Coe offers is second to none."
Alison Charles graduated in 2013 with majors in public relations and art, with an emphasis in painting. Originally from Schofield, Wisconsin, she now lives in Wausau, Wisconsin, where she is a graphic designer for Eastbay Team Sales at Footlocker.com/Eastbay.
"I am so glad I chose Coe! The liberal arts education allows you to really find what you are passionate for by dipping your toes into a lot of different areas. My internship experience, my participation in sports and Greek life, the friendly staff, the extremely talented faculty and unique classes offered at Coe all helped shape me into the person I am today and allowed me to gain the confidence and experience needed for the real world. If it weren't for my internship as the student graphic designer for Coe College Orientation, I wouldn't have found my passion for graphic design. I'm forever grateful for all the experiences and great memories created during my four years at Coe. Coe was and will forever be my home away from home."
Lauren DuBay graduated from Coe in 2013 majoring in art and public relations, with a minor in art history. A native of Kewanee, Illinois, she lives in Cedar Rapids. After interning in the Coe College Marketing and Public Relations Office for two years, Lauren worked at UnityPoint Health St. Luke's Hospital as a marketing communication specialist. She was quickly promoted to internal marketing consultant for the hospital. In the summer of 2015, she accepted a position as multimedia designer with the United Way of East Central Iowa. In addition to her day job, she is freelance graphic designer for a variety of organizations in the Creative Corridor.
"Coe was where I truly realized my potential. Professors did more than teach, they helped show me what was possible and what I was capable of. I was not just a student at Coe; I was a person with tremendous potential. The lessons I've learned and the relationships I've formed at Coe have allowed me to grow and thrive in my professional career."
Cassie Irwin graduated in 2013 with majors in business administration and public relations, and a minor in art. Cassie is originally from Grimes, Iowa, but after graduation, moved to Lansing, Michigan, where she works as a Strategic Planning Coordinator. In this role, Cassie oversees the marketing and project management for ECHRS, a large healthcare organization.
"My undergraduate education and extracurricular involvement, coupled with a long list of internships and volunteer experiences, gave me a solid foundation for my career in healthcare administration. Coe provided me with countless opportunities to grow myself personally and professionally. I can honestly say that I would not be able to do my job without the liberal arts education that I received from Coe. Less than one year into my first job, I was promoted into my current management and leadership position, becoming the youngest professional to obtain a supervisory position in the organization. I attribute this advancement to the professional experiences I received during my undergraduate education. Coe has been the foundation for my professional career."
Ashley Hartzler graduated in December 2012 with majors in business administration and public relations. After graduation, she returned to her hometown of Washington, Iowa. She initially accepted a position at Washington County Hospital and Clinics as Health Promotions Coordinator. In May 2013, she switched careers and has been Marketing Director at Washington State Bank ever since. She serves as the head of marketing for the financial institution including the branch in Fairfield, Iowa.
"I could not have asked for a better college experience than what I had at Coe. The professors always keep your best interests in mind helping you to advance in ways that you may not have thought about yourself. Without the help of Coe's professors, I would not have chosen a different major and been in the career I am today. I owe my successes to the exceptional business and public relations departments as well as the numerous other staff that helped me to develop my knowledge that set me apart from other job applicants."
Krishen Narcelles graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, double majoring in business administration and public relations. Krishen moved to New York City shortly after graduation to become a sales and marketing intern for NTT America. She was then hired full time and works as a marketing associate at the company’s office in Herndon, Va.
"Coe was not just a school I went to. It was my life for four years. It was the place where I realized what I wanted to do with my life and the college prepared me for it. My professors did not just talk at me in the classroom; they really cared about my future, helped me realize my potential, and encouraged me to go after what really mattered to me. The atmosphere in the Coe community is one that fosters the idea that you can do anything you want to do, and the faculty and staff will help you in any way they can to get you there. I'm living proof of that."
Angelea Presti graduated in 2012, triple majoring in public relations, writing and Spanish. Following graduation, she moved back to her hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, to work as a marketing coordinator for a local radio station. In August of 2014, Angelea relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue greater professional opportunities in both the music and fashion editorial photography industries.
"Coe gave me a liberal arts education; an education and foundation that not only gives one the knowledge applicable to a particular major, but also the invaluable skills of effective communication, critical and creative thinking, and the ability to inspire others by achieving a set goal. In comparison, Coe's classroom atmosphere is rare; professors genuinely care about each student's success. They know each of their students by his or her first name. Lastly, Coe overflows with opportunity; I was able to triple major, performed as principal viola in the symphony orchestra, served as the Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper, was the Homecoming Chair for the Student Activities Committee, and served as a member of the Senior Gift Committee. Coe gives students the priceless opportunity of finding out who you are."
Katie Ricklefs graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, double majoring in public relations and physical education, with a minor in writing. Currently living in Cedar Rapids, Katie works as a marketing and communications project leader at APAC Customer Services, Inc. Katie is responsible for creating well-written, client-specific proposals and presentations for a variety of business verticals. She is also involved in community events and is a Blue Zones Ambassador for Cedar Rapids.
"I greatly appreciated the flexibility that that Coe Plan had to offer. I was able take a variety of courses that catered to my specific interests and goals. I never felt as though I was taking general education classes that did not apply to me. This is not to mention the emphasis that most professors put on writing, which was especially helpful as a student hoping to make a name for myself in the public relations industry."
Kara Klein graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, double majoring in public relations and art. Before settling in the South, she lived in New York City interning in the marketing department at Everlast Worldwide and assisting in project management at the eFashion Solutions Photography Studio in Secaucus, N.J. Kara currently lives in Charleston, S.C., where she serves as the director of marketing at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina.
"Attending a liberal arts college was a wonderful experience, and the Coe community is like a family. The small class sizes allowed me to build relationships with all of my classmates, and my teachers and advisors really took the time to know me. The administration at Coe is very personable, and you can learn a lot from your interactions with them. Small colleges afford you the opportunity to be involved in many extracurricular activities, and my roles in these organizations taught me time management and leadership skills that made for an easy transition into the working world."
Kristy Upah Staker graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, triple majoring in public relations, writing and physical education with an emphasis in health and wellness. From May 2008 through June 2012, she served as the public relations coordinator, assistant director of parent programs, assistant volleyball coach, aerobics instructor, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes advisor at Coe College. Kristy is currently the community relations coordinator for Hy-Vee, assisting 14 Cedar Rapids and Marion Hy-Vee Food and Drugstores with marketing, social media correspondence, special programs and community-related events.
"I loved my experience at Coe, both as a student and member of the staff. During my undergraduate years, I learned invaluable lessons in the classroom and on the volleyball court about time management and communication. Internships, volunteer experiences and an assortment of campus involvements prepared me well for managing a wide variety of situations and most importantly – how to deal with people."
Jenny Snyder graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, double majoring in public relations and business administration, with a minor in economics. Jenny currently lives in Peoria, Illinois and works for the directional marketing agency, Marquette Group. As the Interactive Program Manager, Jenny oversees interactive advertising programs of corporate and local companies across the United States.
"College is something you always look forward to. It comes, it goes, and you'll never forget anything about it. The most prominent things Coe represents is its education and social life. The friends you meet will always be there for you, and your education will forever help you further your career. The experience was amazing and will be everlasting."
Marie Young graduated in 2006, double majoring in public relations and sociology, with a minor in speech communications. Currently living in Maquoketa, Iowa, Marie works as the Director of eCommerce Marketing and Communications at Bankers Advertising and Tru Art Companies. She is responsible for using internet marketing strategies to build the company through web presence and social media, as well as leading eCommerce initiatives. Marie also serves as the Social Media Manager for the Upper Midwest Association of Promotional Products (UMAPP) and is a member of the Marketing Exchange Group for the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) and the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI).
"I have nothing but gratitude to Coe College and my professors for providing me with a well-rounded, hands-on, liberal arts education. I was able to build strong relationships with professors and advisors who are genuinely invested in each student's success. I was encouraged early on to find my passion, study it and practice it. They took the time to work with me one-on-one, and push me to be all I could be. Additionally, I'm thankful for the Coe Plan's requirements, including the extraordinary programs offered by the Career Services office and the internship program to prepare me for "real life." These hands-on experiences provided me with the skills needed to hit the ground running as I entered the workforce. If you take advantage of the resources Coe College offers you, you'll be amazed by what you can do, and so will your potential employers!"
Bri Axdahl graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, double majoring in public relations and sociology. She is currently a Marketing Specialist for MercyCare Community Physicians in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Bri is responsible for the marketing and communications for MercyCare's physicians and clinics in the Cedar Rapids and surrounding area.
"The connections I made at Coe and through my internship guided me in my transition into the working world. In several of my classes, we partnered with local businesses to work on real life public relations projects. Those experiences really prepared me for my career in the public relations field."
Beth Trejo graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, double majoring in public relations and Spanish, with a minor in art. She settled in her home area of Sioux City, Iowa. Beth founded and serves as CEO for Chatterkick, a digital marketing company that specializes in content marketing, social media marketing, social promotion, online advertising and more. Previously, Beth was the Director of Investor Relations for the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce, and she also served as the public relations and events coordinator for the Siouxland American Red Cross.
"During my time at Coe I was involved in several campus groups and internships. The experiences and education I gained from Coe have helped me tremendously in the workforce. The liberal arts philosophy of a well-rounded education has strengthened my communications skills and allows me to relate to a diverse array of people, situations and topics."
Chris Beck graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, double majoring in public relations and theatre. He currently serves as the marketing director for Lazer 103.3 and Lite 104.1 after previously serving as the Marketing Director for 93.3 KIOA. Beck is also the internship manager for the Des Moines Radio Group in Des Moines, Iowa.
"Coe was a great experience, plain and simple. The public relations program offered at Coe gave me enough creative and technical expertise that easily transferred into a career!"
Scott Holland graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in English, with minors in theater and religion. Since Coe he has pursued careers in newspaper reporting, editing and commentary. After serving as the managing editor of the Independence Bulletin-Journal for 14 months, Holland became a general assignment reporter for the Clinton Herald. In February 2007, Holland relocated to Ottawa, Ill., to become the associate editor of The Times. In March 2009, he joined Holland Safety Equipment, a business started in 2003 by his parents, Gary and Kathy Thompson Holland (both Coe 1974), while continuing to work part time for The Times as a copy editor, columnist and page designer.
"I took the standard English classes, but getting involved in the liberal arts experience and having a broad background of different educational arenas helped me expand my horizons. My out-of-the-classroom experiences -- especially with music groups and Lambda Chi Alpha -- helped teach me about management, cooperation, making decisions and working with people."