Melissa Cubit never imagined herself studying at a university in the northeast. Even as a Philadelphia native, Cubit despised the cold and preferred finding a school on the west coast near Los Angeles. But after attending an overnight event at Syracuse, Cubit quickly decided Syracuse was the place for her.
“I was going to visit another school the following weekend, but I just had such a good experience,” says Cubit. “It felt right. I couldn’t even really explain it, but I looked at my parents, and I was like, ‘I don’t even think I want to go to Boston next weekend. I think this is what I’m going to do.'”
Cubit started at Syracuse in 2014 as a broadcast journalism major but decided the repetition of a journalist’s life wasn’t for her and instead decided to study public relations. Later that fall, her parents visited and headed to a winery in Finger Lakes, dressed in their Syracuse gear. They were approached by Julie Walas, the former undergraduate recruiting director. Walas asked the couple about their daughter and told them about the dual major between the Newhouse and the iSchool that she thought Cubit might have interest in checking out.
Cubit’s parents told Cubit about the program, and she was intrigued by the mix of technology and business. “I do have that creative mindset, but I am very logical as well,” says Cubit. “Growing up, I used to code my own blogs, and I always just found tech really interesting. So when Julie talked to my parents, I was like, ‘This kind of sounds interesting. Maybe I’ll take some classes in the iSchool and see what it’s about.’ And it turned out I really liked it.”
Like many students entering the iSchool, Cubit was fascinated by technology and coding but didn’t want to become a coder or computer scientist. But after attending a few classes, Cubit realized the iSchool, while it had a place for technical-minded students, also was a fit for creative students like her who wanted to develop hard technical skills that she could apply to more creative roles. In addition to the technical skills, iSchool students also learned many aspects of business such as teamwork, communication, and project management.
“It was cool to learn there are so many career opportunities out of the iSchool,” shares Cubit. “I was interested in being in the business school, but I feel like I got the same type of business education being in the iSchool. And I learned a lot of hard skills that, even if I don’t use them today, ended up being impressive in job interviews. To say I know all these coding languages and I know how to use all these different programs ended up being really useful.”
Cubit graduated with a dual major from Newhouse and the iSchool in 2018 and finally moved to Los Angeles. She landed her first job as the Executive Assistant to the Vice Chairman at PMK BNC, an LA-based marketing and communications agency. After roughly a year in the position, Cubit decided PR wasn’t for her and took a job with Live Nation Entertainment, where she now works as a Ticketing Coordinator.
Cubit’s role as a Ticketing Coordinator differs from day to day, but she says her work is a good blend of technical and creative skills, utilizing her knowledge from both degrees.
“The job description was pretty broad, and it turns out I was going to be the first person to hold the position,” says Cubit. “I feel like I get to use a lot of my communications and creative side, but I also use a lot of really hard technical skills. And even if I wasn’t taught exactly how to do it at the iSchool, I think the iSchool gave me a really good foundation on how to figure things out.”
Looking back on her time at Syracuse, Cubit says she’s glad she decided to pursue both degrees because it opened many professional opportunities for her. “I really do think I got an excellent education, and it’s definitely the place I was meant to be,” says Cubit. “I’m very thankful I did the dual Newhouse/iSchool program. I think it’s the perfect mix of my communications and creative side, and then that technical side as well. And I just felt like I could go into any job because I had such a broad education. I think it was the perfect well-rounded education.”
Interested in pursuing a dual major with the iSchool and Newhouse? Want to learn more about our dual degree offerings? Contact Adrienne Graves, Undergraduate Recruiting Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.