Rutgers group supports women entering communications field
An organization at Rutgers dedicates itself specifically to the growth and development of women in the historically male-dominated field of communications.
The Association for Women in Communications (AWC) aims to be the upholders for the advancement of women's leadership and excellence.
The organization focuses on establishing connections between students and professionals in the industry. They connect with women in many fields including print, broadcast journalism, radio, film, advertising and multimedia productions.
“We want to create an environment that makes everyone feel welcome and encourages academic and professional achievement,” said Skylar Jeremias, vice president of the organization and a School of Arts and Sciences junior.
The connections between women in the field and students at Rutgers “prepare young professionals for the challenges and opportunities that they are likely to face upon entering the workforce,” according to the organization’s mission on its website.
Members hold biweekly meetings and host various events with guest speakers, networking opportunities, workshops or fundraising.
The club offers its members tips for real-world skills by providing workshops on topics ranging from running professional social media accounts to resumè building. Professional women also come to talk about their experiences, Jeremias said.
Each of the meetings has a set purpose, she said. Resumè-building workshops are provided by a Rutgers Business School fraternity.
“It's really encouraging to have some men from another organization come and support a woman-driven group,” Jeremias said.
Guest speakers share with students their own career experiences, such as how they navigated their college career, what their job entails and how being women in communication affects them.
AWC gives members career advantages by helping them build better resumès and providing potential internship opportunities.
As a part of the national association, members of the Rutgers chapter attend the annual AWC National Convention in New York, Jeremias said.
The association hopes to advance and promote the voices of marginalized and underrepresented groups in organizations throughout the world, according to the website of Bernadette Gailliard, faculty advisor of AWC and a professor in the Department of Communication.
Being a woman makes pursuing work in this field very competitive, said Heidi Torregroza, a member of Rutgers AWC and a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore.
This organization makes Rutgers’ large and competitive campus feel smaller, and connects women who share the same interests, Jeremias said.
Jobs related to media and business are male-dominated, making it discouraging for women to get into the field, she said.
“We, as women, are constantly being tested and pushed to work harder than any man in order to prove that we are just as good,” Jeremias said. “That alone is a challenge and this organization creates a community where women help women do exactly that.”
Brielle Diskin is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore. She is a contributing writer for The Daily Targum.