Meghan Saunier (Class of 2014)

  • photo of Meghan Sauniersenior Mass Communication major
  • from Canton, OH
  • interned with Ernst & Young in Cleveland, OH
  • alumni relations chair, Delta Zeta sorority

The geography class I took last semester was geared toward the media and what I was doing with communication. It's really helpful that liberal arts education helps you to put two and two together.


Internship Experience: Definitely Worth It Video Transcript

Why Miami?

"I went on college visits all around Ohio because I'm from Canton, but when I came to Miami there was a terrible blizzard, and we had to leave our tour early. But I already knew I wanted to be at Miami. I loved the feeling I got when I was here—it was different from other universities I had seen. It was a big decision coming down to a place that is four hours away from home, and I was the only girl from my high school that ended up coming here. It was a big adjustment, but completely worth it!

"I started my first year going into the Pre-Law Program, but I ultimately decided that I really liked communication. My older sisters were communication majors, so I knew the versatility that you could have in that field. I wasn't quite sure at the time what I wanted to do. People were also telling me about the Western Program, where I could build my own major, which seemed really interesting. The Western Program was part of my thematic sequence, and it definitely helped me choose mass communication. The more communication classes I took, the more I decided that was what I wanted to do, so I just stuck with that."

Best Things about Miami

"One of the best things about Miami is that, for the most part, no one goes home on the weekends. Miami's not a suitcase college. I came here with no one from my high school, but all my Miami friends have turned into family. And although at first I thought Miami would make me feel lost inside this big school, all my classes have just twenty or thirty students, and all my teachers know my name. They're always free for coffee or for lunch or anything.

"I'm also involved in my sorority, Delta Zeta. None of my family were ever Greek, and I really didn't think I wanted to join one, but I realized there are lots of great opportunities. First I was the public relations chair, and now I'm the alumni relations chair. The Greek system is really good for building connections, for philanthropy experience, and for seeing what's out there when it comes to the job hunt."

Best Class at Miami

"My communications advisors and teachers have helped me a lot. Professor Annie Blair, who teaches Journalism 201 [Reporting and News Writing I], made me feel like I was a reporter for the semester. I was calling people I didn't know, I was setting up interviews, I was taking pictures—it was probably the hardest class that I have ever taken because it wasn't as much the classwork but the deadlines and having sources for everything. Professor Blair would check up on our sources to make sure we called them. We had lots of group work and class discussions. I used to get nervous talking in front of people, but Miami teachers are really supportive. That class felt like my first real-world experience, which I actually used in my internship this past summer at Ernst & Young in Cleveland.

"Another great class was English 226, Introduction to Creative Writing. It's a requirement for media criticism and mass communication, and it was one of the first times that I was taken out of my comfort zone. We had to read aloud our creative writing and poetry in class as we sat in a circle, but everyone was very accepting and it broke down a lot like walls for me. I learned a lot from it. Even though creative writing is not always used in the business world, it was definitely a jumpstart for me."

Miami and Liberal Arts Education

"A lot of the courses in the Miami Plan coincide with the liberal arts, so I think that as far as graduating on time, and making sure all of my classes were fulfilled, there was a great incentive to become a communication major. I love the Intro Linguistics class I'm taking right now, and so many classes can be related to communication and media and other things. The geography class I took last semester was geared toward the media and what I was doing with communication. It's really helpful that liberal arts education helps you to put two and two together.

"It also gives you a great way to take advantage of your connections. This is how I was hired as a summer intern at Ernst & Young, which is an accounting firm. By this time, my liberal arts classes had made me comfortable calling people, taking pictures, writing and rewriting articles. During my internship I was calling people in London and the Netherlands and Japan—it was really intimidating at first, but it was good training for me. I learned this summer that everyone needs writers. Miami has made me more prepared to write well and utilize feedback, knowing that the professors here really want you to succeed.

"I never would have thought my studies in communication would have anything to do with accounting, but you don't need to limit yourself to whatever your major is specifically. Don't sell yourself short of the bigger picture."

Internship Experience

enlarged photo of Meghan Saunier and friend"I responded to an internship opening from Michael Moloney, who's a Miami alum and director at Ernst & Young's EY Knowledge division. EY Knowledge provides market research data to clients about other businesses and competition, and they were seeking a communication intern in their Cleveland office for eight weeks during the summer.

"It was a great experience. Ernst & Young is a global company, so I reported to one team in Cleveland and one in London. They assigned me research articles and success stories to write, explaining how the company helped clients in mergers or relocations based on data. I also did interviews with people from all over the country. It was nice because I made all sorts of connections, even with people from Miami that I would not have met otherwise.

"This experience made me see a bigger perspective. I never realized how many people and parts can go into a company. It was an amazing place to be and helped me get my foot in the door. There are so many options for a communication major even in that sort of company, such as recruiting or human resources. There certainly are opportunities there for me, especially after graduation. The people I worked with were awesome."

Advice to Students

"Use all of your resources at Miami, like Career Services, resume classes, and everything. I remember looking at my resume from freshman year and thinking there were so many mistakes on it. I think it's good to send your resume out to family and friends—have everyone check it just to make sure that everything is up to date and correct.

"And for students here in the College of Arts and Science, take advantage of the career fairs in the spring—they're not geared just to business school students. That's one of the first opportunities to talk to representatives from various companies, even if they don't seem related to your major. Everyone at Miami is here to help, so definitely use your resources here!"

[September 2013]