Meet a Shocker: Kayla Deines, communication graduate

Kayla Deines has spent her fair share of time in college but it's allowed her to pursue a path she's passionate about. Skilled in marketing, communications and design, Kayla hopes to land a communication job in higher education.

Kayla is one of more than 2,400 students eligible for spring/summer 2020 graduation. Learn more about her time at Wichita State and what is next for the grad.

What is your degree in? 

I’m getting a communication degree in integrated marketing communication.

What led you to WSU?

Honestly, I transferred to Wichita State because it was cheaper than where I was previously. I didn’t realize it would feel so much like home though or I wouldn’t have gone anywhere else. The campus feels cozy, there are applied learning opportunities everywhere and the teachers really have the students’ best interest at heart.

How are you feeling leading up to graduation? 

I’m excited to graduate and see where the world takes me, but I’m also nervous. This isn’t the best time to graduate, and I don’t have a job lined up. I’m optimistic though because I know I have put in the work to get a great education. I will miss being on campus and seeing my classmates and teachers that I’ve spent years with, but I know we will keep in touch.

What are your career plans?

When I first started looking for internships, I never thought I would want to work in an education setting. However, since working for three departments on campus, I realized I enjoy it quite a bit. Right now, doing communication work for a college is at the top of my list.

How has the COVID-19 crisis altered those plans, if at all?

As of now, my plans are the same. It might just be more difficult to find a job to apply for.

What advice do you have for other students on how to cope with the uncertainty of these times?

You have to take it one day at a time. It’s difficult to plan for the future right now because the world hasn’t experienced this level of disruption before. I have found that it helps to focus on what I have control of. I can control what actions I take and how I feel, so I spend my energy on that. It helps a whole lot more than worrying about what other people think or how the rest of the year will play out.

What has been your most helpful learning experience while a student at WSU?

I know no one wants to hear it, but the most helpful thing I’ve learned is that you have to step out of your comfort zone. As someone with anxiety, I resisted this. When teachers would talk about it, I listened politely and promptly decided I would not follow their advice. However, they had a point. Once I started expanding my comfort zone, I found that opportunities started opening up for me. I shadowed people with jobs I was interested in, went to events at companies I wanted to work for and went above and beyond for class projects. And I ended up enjoying all of it. Sometimes you have to take a deep breath, count to three and just do the uncomfortable thing.

What was been your biggest challenge as a student, and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge as a student was just figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. I have so many interests that I wasn’t sure which path to follow. That lead to switching my major five times and falling behind several semesters. I’m not graduating as early as I hoped but I had to find what felt right. I’m thrilled to be graduating this year with an education I’ve thoroughly enjoyed instead of working in a field I don’t like just because it allowed me to graduate faster.

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