Meet Annika Roe '22
This communication studies student went from shy speaker to center stage
When it came time for Annika Roe '22 to choose a college, she didn't have to look far from her Minneapolis home. With Hamline right next door, she found a top-tier education where she could have close relationships with her professors.
"I knew I would do better in a small class setting so I could have good relationships with my professors, I would know who they were, and if I was having trouble, I could ask them for help," said Roe, a communication studies major who now works as a graphic designer at PostNet in Saint Paul.
Roe's experience as a student worker in Hamline's own marketing department helped her build confidence as she launched her career, she said.
"My student job gave me a lot of problem-solving skills that I didn't have before," Roe reflected. "If I hadn't had that experience of getting into the nitty gritty details of an office environment, I wouldn't have learned that."
My student job gave me a lot of problem-solving skills that I didn't have before. I feel really capable now of applying to other careers and very confident in interviews, and if I hadn't had that experience of getting into the nitty gritty details of an office environment, I wouldn't have learned that."
As she dove into her studies, Roe became well versed in the art of communication and developed close relationships with her professors, particularly her faculty advisor, Suda Ishida. "I don't even think my parents believe in me as much as my advisor did," Roe laughed. "She always told me I should be president."
Roe immersed herself in communication, from graphic design and visual messaging to the subtleties of the spoken word.
"It's like getting a degree in persuasion," she said. "It's so satisfying getting people to agree with what you're saying. That transfers over into advertising, where I'm going after graduation, where you're trying to prove to people why they should choose your product over a different one."
Roe wasn't always a smooth communicator; her persuasive speaking is the product of hard work.
"At first I was really scared of public speaking. In high school, my face would always turn red," Roe recalled. "Now I cope with it better. I still get nervous, but I learned that everybody is nervous, and I figured out how to be comfortable in front of a crowd."
A moment of vindication came when Roe presented before a philosophy class, which required audience members to give feedback on just three presentations out of over twenty presenters.
"I decided to put what I know into that class, and it paid off," Roe said. "I got 15 reviews, and they were all very positive. It was a little triumph for me."
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