By: TRICIA MCCANN
After the last book has been shut and the final key struck on that research paper, when does the student become the professional?
Alumni Krista Keirnan underwent this transformation in 2013 when she graduated from IU South Bend with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications with a focus in public relations. Keirnan grew up South Bend and also spent some time in Edwardsburg, Mich. She began her college career at Webster University in St. Louis but decided to finish her studies at IUSB.
“I came back to South Bend to start my family,” said Keirnan, “and be closer to my extended family.”
After graduating Keirnan chose to stay local and began working for the city of South Bend as well as Downtown South Bend, Inc.
“My job entails getting downtown businesses engaged, supporting existing businesses and recruiting new ones,” Keirnan said. “I enjoy meeting people, expanding new things, moving forward on projects. I am never doing the same thing. I like helping people in my community.”
Preparing her for her new career were her classes and peers at IUSB. As both a long-time resident and active member on campus, Keirnan was able to build on the skills she uses today on the job.
“My classes helped me establish a network of people. Faculty and people from my classes were from the area and helped establish local connections,” explained Keirnan.
With these friendships and networks Keirnan has been able to become a part of the surrounding community and give back on a local level.
Keirnan’s advice to students is to get out into the community.
“There is so much to do on campus and around the city or surrounding cities,” Keirnan said. “You need to understand what’s going on and what’s coming. The more connections you build the better you are going to do.”