Commencement helps student land her first job post-graduation

Nykeema Radway ’17

To say that recent graduate Nykeema Radway ’17 walked across the commencement stage straight into her first full-time job nine days later is technically accurate but doesn’t tell the full story.

The communication major’s journey to her first job actually began four years ago when she made the decision to get involved in campus life shortly after arriving at FIU. Among other activities, she served as president of the Black Student Union. This service contributed, in part, to her being named a Worlds Ahead Graduate at commencement. As part of the honor, President Mark B. Rosenberg shared highlights of Radway’s FIU experience with the commencement audience.

In the crowd that night was Rossie Cortes, director of external affairs for Miami Children’s Health Foundation. Cortes was there to celebrate the graduation of her son, communications major Gabriel Vega. After hearing Rosenberg speak about Radway’s educational experience, Cortes had a hunch that she would make a great marketing traffic coordinator for the Miami Children’s Health Foundation – a position she was trying to fill.

Cortes approached her after the ceremony to express how impressed she was with her experience and invited Radway to apply for the open position.

“I was looking for someone with personality who would be capable of handling our mission. She also had the degree that we were looking for,” Cortes says. “Her bio is what stood out to me. She was able to be involved and still graduate in four years.”

Radway, who had been working diligently to land a job, couldn’t believe her good fortune when she was invited to interview for the position.

“I had been applying and interviewing for a variety of jobs. When this [whole thing happened], a feeling of excitement flooded over me,” Radway says. “I was overjoyed. A lot of great things happened in one day.”

Radway is thankful for the experiences and knowledge she acquired through her participation in on-campus organizations and through her completion of a marketing and public relations internship with the Division of Student Affairs. In that role, Radway worked alongside Jamie Giller, former account manager of marketing and public relations for the division.

“Jamie gave me tips and resources to aid me in my growth. I appreciate the professional experience [I gained] in this setting,” Radway says. “Jamie valued my opinion and always included me, which helped me find my strengths.”

Through her extracurricular activities, Radways says she gained important skills.

“I learned how to work with others and adapt to different situations,” she says. “Sometimes I had to step outside my comfort zone for the betterment of the team.”

In her new position with Miami Children’s Health Foundation, Radway oversees the flow of marketing and monitors and communicates with different departments. She also tracks projects and monitors media mentions.

While the job is still new, so far, so good, says Radway, who is contemplating getting a master’s degree.

“There is a lot of open communication. Everyone is helpful and efficient.”

When asked what advice she would offer current FIU students, Radway says, “I encourage everyone to be open to different opportunities. At a huge university like FIU, you should find the community you connect with. Once you do, you can contribute in your own way. It will come naturally and when it does, you’ll stand out.”