COM Alumni Spotlight

Rebecca Willis (Hobbs)

Rebecca Hobbs Willis
Rebecca Willis (front,center) at Sydney Opera House, leading a student orientation trip.

Name:

Rebecca Willis

Graduation Date: December 2008
Position Title: Inbound Study Abroad & Exchange Coordinator
Company: University of Canberra
Current Location: Canberra, ACT Australia

What was your favorite class in the COM Department? Why?
Intercultural Communication was definitely my favorite COM class because it was engaging, interactive and allowed me to integrate my new found passion from my exchange semester in Australia into my Communication Studies degree.

What organizations/groups were you involved in while you were a student?
I was involved in the International Student Organization (ISO), the Office of International Programs (OIP), CRU, Christ Community Church, the UNCW crew team and the Chamber Choir.

Did you complete a departmental internship? If so, please list your internship agency.
I completed an internship and then continued as an employee at the Office of International Programs at UNCW. This experience helped me to land my current job at the University of Canberra, for which I am extremely thankful!

How are you using the skills/concepts learned from your COM degree in your life?
I use Intercultural Communication skills often as I introduce international students to their new home each semester- not to mention integration of my own life to a new culture in Australia! I also use many graphic design and visual communication skills to make website updates and changes, work on the design and content of publications and advertise and promote through social media. My job also involves presenting to students for Orientation and planning and organizing several trips and events through the semester.  One of the best parts of my job is the variety of skills I can use on a regular basis! I also use my communication skills as related to advertising, design, event planning and organizing as the founder and director of a new young adult a capella group called Rushing Waters. You can check it out at http://rushingwatersacapella.com/

What are your proudest accomplishments since graduating from UNCW?
WOW! Where do I even begin? Mostly, I feel overwhelmed with gratitude and I thank God for all his incredible blessings, leading the motivation and passion which brought me to where I am now. Soon after graduating from UNCW, I wrote an essay about why every student should have the opportunity to study abroad and was awarded a full scholarship to complete my masters in International Relations from Macquarie University in Sydney. Directly following the completion of my masters, I married my wonderful Aussie husband in Wilmington and we moved to Canberra for his work. Just two months later, I was awarded my dream job welcoming new study abroad and exchange students at the University of Canberra. Now, five years later, I still find enjoyment facilitating a life changing opportunity for international students in Australia and I am also finding a lot of inspiration and positive challenges outside of work in starting up a Christian young adult a capella group last year. Recently, I was recruited to start an a capella group at a local high school, bringing even more challenges my way in working with a new age group and skill level. My husband and I also lead an International Bible study at our home. Needless to say, each new year brings many exciting challenges and opportunities and I’ve never been more certain that I’m right where I’m meant to be, even though I never dreamed it would be in Australia!

Communication is. . . key.

What advice would you give current COM majors?
Put forth your best effort, seek your area of passion and follow it with all your heart!

Want to see more from Rebecca? Check out her account as a COM Major in the Australia exchange program. http://uncw.edu/com/australia.html

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