Alumni Spotlight
Emily Cain

by: Reagan Young, student PR Intern

Emily CainEmily Cain received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a concentration in Communication Studies in 2005 from Mississippi State University and a Master of Science in Speech Communication from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2007. 

Cain, a native of Taylorsville, Miss., currently works for MSU as an Academic Coordinator for the College of Arts & Sciences. 

In her job, Cain works with departments to enhance course articulation, track students’ progress, and clear students for graduation. Cain also advises students pursuing the Interdisciplinary Studies degree and she has recently started assisting departments with curriculum development. 

In 2007, Cain assumed the role as an instructor in the Department of Communication, teaching and serving as a faculty advisor. Eventually, Cain was asked to be the department’s advising and recruiting coordinator, which allowed her to work closely with the Arts & Sciences dean’s office. Through this work, an opportunity arose for Cain to join the college office.

During her senior year at MSU, Cain’s advisor, Karyn Brown, knew Cain was considering graduate school and opened up the opportunity for Cain to follow alongside Amy Fountain and learn the ropes of teaching communication at the college level.

Cain said this experience was extremely helpful and taught her skills like creating a syllabus and evaluating a textbook. 

“From learning how to evaluate a textbook, put together a solid syllabus, and grade in an efficient, fair way, we covered a lot. She even gave me the opportunity to teach a class, which was especially helpful.”

In regard to the job application and interview process, Cain encourages to do homework on the organization or company. 

Cain said you should not go into an interview uninformed.

“With so much information at your fingertips with jobs being posted online and companies having social media, there's no reason to go into an interview uninformed. You shouldn't have to ask the interviewer basic information about the job responsibilities or general mission of the company.”

Cain advises undergraduate students searching for a job to be patient, to stay positive and to use their networks.  

Cain said if you do not get offered a job after graduation right away that it is okay. She urges students to use that time for activities that will benefit the job search.

“Searching for a job post-graduation can be stressful. If you don't have an offer right away, that's ok! Use that time to engage in activities that will make you even more marketable, like job shadowing, volunteering, and connecting with professional organizations.” 

Favorite memory as a communication student?
In general, just hanging in the hallways between classes and commiserating with my friends about our tough classes. One specific memory, though, would be seeing Second City perform on the McComas main stage. They were incredible!

Favorite communication class you took and why?
That's a tough one! Small Group was fun. I loved the balance of writing and designing in Copy and Layout. Taking News Writing in the summer with Frances McDavid was also really great!

Most valuable lesson learned from the communication department?
There are so many, but I think it comes down to the basics. We are always communicating, so pay attention to the messages you are sending. Know your audience. Context matters. Be intentional. And... proofread! ;) 

Any funny stories from your time in McComas?
Most of my funny stories come from my time working in McComas rather than when I was a student. There's a LOT that goes on that students don't have a clue about! Haha!

Favorite communication professor and why?
That's impossible to answer! I was so fortunate to learn from and work with some of the very best!