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My Manchester Story

Karen Kanyike

by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019
Karen Kanyike

Karen Kanyike, Senior Communication Studies Major from Atlanta, Georgia

“Why did you choose to study communication studies?”
“I had always wanted to do COMM, since the beginning of high school. Originally, I wanted to do mass communications, because that’s what was offered at home (Uganda). So when I came here, I realized I could do communication studies at Manchester, which was a very broad program. So that’s why I decided to do COMM, but I didn’t really know what it entailed. I was just like, ‘Okay, it sounds like a cool thing to do so I’ll do it.’ As I got deeper into COMM, I realized that it helped me to have a better understanding of how people behave and communicate, and that’s what kept me interested.”

“What are your goals after graduation?”
“I’m doing COMM and I’m minoring in journalism and English, so with those three things I’m hoping to get into journalism or marketing or public relations. Now I’m thinking of getting into event planning, because of the internship I’m doing this summer with the Office of Strategic Communications, and part of my job was to organize the Fourth of July celebration. I enjoyed the process of putting things together, contacting people to donate items for the event, and delegating tasks, meeting new people and coordinating with various parties within and outside Manchester to make this event a success. I enjoyed the process and it made me consider event planning.”

“Tell me about your internship.” 
“A big part of it was organizing [the Fourth of July Celebration], and I’m also supposed to write press releases, so for the press releases we did at the beginning of the summer, we had to send news to people’s hometowns. We did graduation lists in the beginning, and we had to send press releases to people’s hometowns to tell them that a certain number of people graduated from Manchester and we put the names of the people from that particular hometown into the press release. We’re also writing other kinds of press releases. For example, for people who won awards, we sent press releases to their hometowns. The part of the internship involved writing profiles for the Alumni Newsletter or the Manchester Magazine. I’m a PR Intern, but I’ve been working for the office since September, and I’m one of the Communications Assistants.”

“What has been your favorite class?”
“’Media Literacy’ with Judd Case, because I had a chance to create a website, and I had never done that before. I didn’t think I’d be able to create one. For the website, we were supposed to have podcasts and edit a video, and add movie reviews. I was able to gain experience with editing videos, making podcasts, and editing images from the movies. I was able to explore a different writing style with the reviews. I was so used to academic writing, but with the reviews, the writing is more relaxed and not so serious. And Judd Case really guided me through the process; we would meet up every week for an hour and he helped me every step of the way.”

“What are your hobbies and interests?”
“I love to watch movies in my free time. I also enjoy having long, deep conversations with my friends about life. Also I enjoy traveling. I’ve been to London a few times, I have family there, so that’s the main thing that pulls me. I have two older brothers and cousins there, so I go whenever I can.”

“What’s your favorite place you’ve been to?”
“London. It’s definitely my favorite city and I love everything about it. I had actually wanted to live there, but my plans changed eventually. Also, before I came to live in the US, I had been here once or twice when I was still really young. I haven’t been to many places, it’s just been the UK, the US, and Nairobi, Kenya. It’s right next to Uganda, and I was there for maybe about a week. I’ve only been to two states, but every state is like a country on its own.”

“What is your favorite memory from your time at Manchester so far?”
“I think maybe my favorite memory is volunteering for the International Fair, because the whole experience was just incredible. I had never cooked for that many people, about 800, and also just being there and seeing and tasting food from other countries. I was experiencing different cultures at once. It’s like I traveled around the world during four hours, because we saw performances from different parts of the world, the food, the people, it was just an incredible experience.”“What is something most people don’t know about you?”
“Most people don’t know that I love watching horror movies. I scare so easily, so you’d think that I’d want to stay away from things like horror movies, but I love them so much. Only people who are really close to me know that.” 

“Do you have any advice you’d give to other students?”
“I think the biggest thing is to have an open mind. When you come to college, you experience new things and you’re exposed to so many things, and there are just many possibilities. Some people have set goals already, but I think being open to exploring other things is huge. Also, using your time well. Time management, as soon as you have that down then everything falls into place. That’s something I have failed to do, because it’s so difficult sometimes. You plan, but things don’t go according to the plan all the time.”