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Career of the Month

The Department is proud to feature monthly profiles of Media & Communication Department Alums, describing their individual career paths and sharing tips with students on how to plan for their own future careers. Profiles focus on the wide range of careers that our liberal arts oriented program has helped to launch. 

This month the spotlight is on an emerging career field, corporate environmental communication, featuring a profile of Kendall Bryant, Class of 2005.

Kendall Bryant '05

 

 

Kendall Bryant

Kendall Bryant, Manager of Green Universal at National Broadcasting Company Universal (NBCU), is responsible for helping to bring an environmental perspective to NBC’s broadcast content. In addition to working on NBCU’s Green is Universal and Earth Weeks, she is using every opportunity to promote environmental awareness throughout the company, from the commissary to corporate headquarters.

Before taking the position of “Green Coordinator” at NBCU in New York, Kendall worked in the publishing industry. Immediately out of college, she worked at Rodale Publishing Company in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, not far from Muhlenberg’s campus. Her position grew out of an internship she held at Rodale during her senior year. Her work at Rodale involved a lot of fact-checking, researching, and writing about topics that ranged from health & nutrition to relationships and finance. From this experience, Kendall learned how to be thorough and to make sure all factual claims are always 100% accurate. Kendall worked on Rodale publications, Men’s Health and Best Life Magazine (which has since folded), learning about the ins-and-outs of publishing.

She learned of the position she currently holds at NBCU from a job posting on treehugger.com, a website that specializes in everything “green.” The web post announced that NBC was beginning a green initiative and was looking for a green coordinator. That was three years ago: the rest is history.

Kendall attributes her love of everything “green” to work she began as a student at Muhlenberg. In the course, New Information Technologies, Kendall studied electronic waste and what happens when people upgrade electronics and dispose of their obsolete equipment. The hazard of electronic waste was an emerging issue in the early 2000s. In response to overwhelming student interest in the topic, Kendall’s professor reworked the course syllabus to give students more hands-on experience in raising campus awareness about the issues. Kendall says “the class had a tremendous impact on me. It gave me a unique opportunity to work on an initiative that was helping to make a difference locally on campus, but also across the nation.” Students in New Information Technologies participated in the student-driven National Computer Take-Back Campaign. Kendall’s interest continued beyond the semester, and she undertook an independent study to delve deeper. That work resulted in a conference paper co-authored with Dr. Taub-Pervizpour that Kendall presented at the International Sustainability Conference in Hawaii.

The experiences in that course and at the sustainability conference were crucial milestones in Kendall’s college career at Muhlenberg. She was the only undergraduate to present at the conference, and reveled in the fact that established researchers not only came to hear her speak, but also took a real interest in the information she had to present on electronic waste. Kendall realized that she could have a career in the communication industry and still make a positive contribution to a social cause.

Kendall’s experience shows that students can make a difference both on and off of the college campus. She says, “What I did in my junior and senior years of college, [is] essentially what I have been able to create in my job now.” She learned that research is not just academic: becoming better informed about public issues and sharing that knowledge can have a ripple effect, getting others involved in the cause.

Kendall offers a few tips to students entering the working world. “Don’t pass up an opportunity just because it’s not your ideal job,” she says, “something that might not sound interesting at first may turn out to be a great experience or extremely useful for future jobs down the line. Do your homework,” she advises, “find out as much information as you can, get insight into the company that you hope to work for.”

Kendall’s enthusiasm is contagious and her desire to educate others on the work she does in and outside of the office is evident. Currently, Kendall is assisting the Media and Communication Department in building its new Alumni Network, which brings together students and alumni. Her passionate support for the department should engage students and encourage them to enjoy their time on campus as well as to look forward to the opportunities available after graduation.

 


 

Rachel Jakubowitcz

Interview conducted by Rachel Jakubowitcz, '12