The School of Journalism and Mass Communication regularly engages alumni, professionals, and professional organizations through its professional advisory board, visitors programs, student organizations, networking events, and community engagement.

The professional advisory board is comprised of alumni and media professionals. Board members interact with students and faculty through classroom visits, drop-in sessions, presentations, and informal meetings during annual visits to the school.

Media professionals routinely visit SJMC classes as guest lecturers, consultants on student projects, and professional partners. Professionals also visit classes and meet with faculty and students through the school’s visitors programs.

The school’s student organizations regularly sponsor events that bring students into contact with professionals. For example, students in the ONA chapter attended the Mobile Me&You conference in Nebraska in 2022 and the NICAR conference in Tennessee in 2023. Ed on Campus students take an annual field trip to Dotdash Meredith offices in Des Moines, Iowa, to meet with managers and learn about magazine career opportunities. NABJ students attend virtual meetings of the Iowa Black Journalist chapter and several have attended meet-and-greet luncheons in Des Moines, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids.

SJMC hosts two speed networking events each year. These events bring 30 professionals and 30 students together for short networking meetings. Professionals visit from across Iowa and the region interact with SJMC students in this lively format.

The school hosts several webinars each year. The webinars feature SJMC alumni and professionals working across media industries. Recent webinars have focused on careers in strategic communication, technology and startups, politics, visual media, digital media, and writing.

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