COM Alumni Spotlight

Patrick McCarthy

PJ McCarthy

Name:

Patrick McCarthy

Graduation Date: May 2007
Position Title:

Senior Press Manager

Company:

E! Entertainment/NBCUniversal

Current Location: Los Angeles, CA

What was your favorite class in the COM Department? Why?
If I had to pick only one, I would say the Capstone class. It was a culmination of all my studies into one class that was setting me up for life after graduation. From resume writing, prepping for job interviews, and public speaking, to building a portfolio, dressing for the job I wanted, and building professional contacts, the Capstone class prepared me to face the big scary working world I was about to venture into and ultimately helped me succeed.

What organizations/groups were you involved in while you were a student?
I was a four year member of UNCW's Swimming and Diving Team where I served as a co-captain my senior year. I was the Assistant Lifestyles Editor for The Seahawk my senior year. I wrote for The Seahawk for four years and had my column "UNCW's Pop Culture Prince" my senior year. I also was a four year member of SAAC.

Did you complete a departmental internship? If so, please list your internship agency.
I was a double major in Film Studies and Communication Studies. I completed an internship working as a PA on "One Tree Hill."

How are you using the skills/concepts learned from your COM degree in your life?
I really learned how to sell myself while obtaining my COM degree at UNCW. I learned that nobody could sell me better than me and that I had to present my skills, strengths, and even weaknesses in a way to make employers want me. Now, I do the same thing but with projects -- namely television series. I present these new series to consumers and press and sell them on the concept of the show to get them to tune-in or cover it in the media.

What are your proudest accomplishments since graduating from UNCW?
I've been really honored to be asked to guest lecture for a few UNCW COM classes as well as classes at other universities around the country. It wasn't that long ago that I was sitting in Leutze Hall trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and what career path I was going to follow. I had several professors and coaches really help guide me, encourage me, and help me get on my way. When I guest lecture or do Q & A's with students, I feel like I am giving back to those that helped me. Nothing is more rewarding than to get an email from a student saying I've inspired him to follow his dreams in the entertainment field or opened her eyes to the new career possibilities.

Communication is. . .
#EverChanging due to the evolution of social media and technology. Tweeting, Facebooking, Instagramming, snapping, texting, FaceTiming, #LOL #SMH *insert emojis here*...

What advice would you give current COM majors?
Be prepared to take risks, embrace all forms of communication, and be open to constantly refining and developing your skills. Media and forms of communication are constantly changing and will continue to do so. Stay on top of the change and your knowledge will put you ahead of the pack.

Want to see more from Patrick? Check out his featured story on the Athletics webpage: UNCW Seahawks - Mens Swimming and Diving

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