Media & Communication Department
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 Political Communication, featuring a profile of Elizabeth Kelsey Nevitt, Class of 2004. Elizabeth returned to Walson Hall in Spring 2011 for AlumniWeek.
Elizabeth Kelsey Nevitt, '04
Elizabeth Kelsey Nevitt describes herself as the communication person in a world full of political science majors. Elizabeth explains that her media and communication major combined with a political science major separated her from the crowd. A lobbyist on energy and climate policy, Elizabeth says that she was bitten by the political bug during her freshman year when she became interested in the 2000 Bush-Gore presidential election. To pursue that interest, she enrolled in Muhlenberg’s Washington Semester during her junior year, and interned for a D.C. public relations firm that specialized in politics and public affairs.
Her first job, working at the University of Michigan Government Relations department, convinced her that she wanted to specialize in policy work. She headed to graduate school and received a master’s degree in Political Management from George Washington University.
Elizabeth has also worked for the John Kerry for President campaign as well as a policy specialist for the U.S House of Representatives.
Elizabeth wanted a career where she could have a direct impact on policy making. She strived for something with social meaning, and considers herself fortunate to know that she is having a positive impact on the world. Elizabeth says that she is always reverting back to the concepts that she learned in her communication and political science classes at Muhlenberg.
She considers writing to be the most important skill for college graduates to master. Elizabeth says that “If your writing is good, make it great. It your writing is great, make it stellar!” Elizabeth communicates specific ideas everyday that could easily be misinterpreted if her writing was not clear and accurate. She is also frequently called upon to put extremely complicated topics into easy to understand language that is accessible to the general public. She says precision and clarity in writing enhances one’s credibility, which in turn, builds trust and confidence.
In politics, Elizabeth says, strategic communication skills and relationship building is everything; and it can often take years to foster specific relationships. Elizabeth tells students to always “take the opportunities that are presented to you!”
Interview conducted and written up by Molly Weinberg '11.