Eboni Valentine started as a pupil at UMSL, the place she is now persevering with her career and furthering her education as she pursues an MBA. (Photo by Derik Holtmann)
When Eboni Valentine began out as a freshman at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, she had no thought she’d even be beginning a career. She at the moment works within the College of Business Administration as an government assistant and advertising and communications coordinator, the place she assists Interim Dean Michael Elliott and offers communications for the division. She can be pursuing an MBA with an emphasis in advertising and a certificates in digital and social media advertising.
Valentine’s ongoing connection to UMSL has been fostered by professors who believed in her potential.
After graduating from Gateway STEM High School, the place she’d been majoring in laptop science, Valentine needed to attend a traditionally black establishment however tuition was a priority when contemplating leaving Missouri. She determined to enroll in UMSL for its affordability and high quality of education and selected media research as her main. She had no thought she’d stay linked to UMSL for years to come.
Valentine had all the time been interested in advertising however by no means totally explored the career. After taking an Introduction to Advertising class in her freshman yr, she was sure she’d made the suitable determination.
“I’ve all the time had a small curiosity in advertising,” Valentine stated. “Just seeing how manufacturers actually take into consideration the target market and issues like that, I felt it was fascinating. So, I continued with that program and really acquired my certificates in promoting as a result of I loved it a lot.”
One expertise at UMSL that excited Valentine was taking part within the National Student Advertising competitors in Kansas City after finishing her capstone course. It allowed her to get away of her shell to do public talking and current the venture on behalf of her group. Valentine’s professor, Dennis Ganahl, helped her by the competitors and later, one other assisted her in getting an internship with a neighborhood tv station.
Valentine needed expertise in video manufacturing, and Kerry Manderbach, an adjunct teacher within the Department of Communication and Media, really helpful her to the station supervisor at STL TV, a neighborhood entry channel. While working half-time as administrative assistant within the College of Nursing, she took the internship the place she gained expertise behind the digital camera and assisted present visitors.
“I realized lots about video manufacturing,” she stated. “They let me do some reside digital camera work on the exhibits and numerous publish-enhancing. I believe that’s how I actually acquired inquisitive about enhancing. I additionally prepped the visitors after they had been getting on reside TV, simply serving to them with totally different hand indicators that we would present them to stretch or once we’re about to lower. I assumed that was actually enjoyable to see TV behind the scenes.”
The internship was so satisfying that Valentine continued to work at the station after graduating in 2018. Assistance from UMSL college members continued with Perry Drake, an affiliate educating professor and chair of the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, taking part in an integral position in serving to her safe her first job.
Her first position after graduating was at Elasticity, a advertising company to which Drake referred her. She labored as a social media supervisor for a number of shoppers.
Drake reappeared in her life a number of years later and requested her if she was inquisitive about going again to college to get her grasp’s diploma whereas working as his graduate assistant. It was a possibility she couldn’t go up.
“In 2021, he reached out and stated, ‘Hey, I’ve a gap for a graduate assistant. If you prefer to to get your grasp’s, I’d love for you to come again and work with me,’” Valentine stated. “I stated, ‘This is the chance I stated I’d take if it ever happened and right here it’s.’ I didn’t hesitate at all. I stated, ‘I need to do it.’”
Drake remembers Valentine’s success within the position.
“As an undergrad, Eboni was the quiet one sitting at school simply absorbing the whole lot,” Drake stated. “I might see the wheels delivering her head. That is what I search for in new grad assistants, that untapped potential – the starvation for extra. I pushed her to transfer exterior her consolation zone as my grad assistant for the social media class. She flourished. I’m positive she’ll grow to be a drive to reckon with within the area of digital advertising communications. It was a pleasure to see her take the lead and push herself to new limits.”
Perry additionally urged Valentine apply for her present position within the College of Business Administration, the place she now works for Elliott. He’s discovered her to be a precious addition to the group.
“Eboni Valentine has been an amazing asset to the College of Business Administration,” Elliott stated. “She makes a optimistic influence on the whole lot she touches. As our first communications supervisor, she has redesigned our web site, organized our social media websites and facilitated main faculty occasions. Her favourite factor to do is create movies that present the UMSL Business expertise. She actually makes our faculty come alive.”
Valentine had no concept that selecting UMSL wouldn’t solely lead to an education at the varsity but additionally a career. Her historical past with the college up to now has been a sequence of individuals recognizing her expertise and serving to her safe alternatives.
Looking forward, Valentine is unclear about her aspirations however is aware of it would contain UMSL professionally and presumably academically for the foreseeable future.
“I’m nonetheless gonna work at the college after commencement,” she stated. “But I’m actually attempting to determine if I need to return for possibly an EdD to get a doctoral diploma. So I’m enthusiastic about that, and I’d nonetheless do this at UMSL. I similar to the teachers right here, the school support that’s right here. When I’m struggling in a category, particularly in my MBA program, I can simply go and discuss to professors. They’re tremendous open and good.”
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