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Hamline students and professors talking at Hamline Bush Library

Meet Tjessa Arradondo '24

This communication studies student puts her own spin on a family talent

When Tjessa Arradondo '24 was applying to colleges, she didn't have to look far from her St. Louis Park hometown to find something that fit the bill.

"I liked that Hamline was a small private school," said Arradondo, a communication studies major. "I wanted to engage with my professors and have that smaller classroom experience."

Arradondo has seen how a communications degree can shape her career throughout her life. Both of her parents work in communications—her mother in visual marketing for Target Corporation, and her father first as a co-manager of First Avenue music venue and then in information technology. She's made many connections through their network, developing a strong sense of the endless career paths she can take with a communications skill set.

Looking at what people are doing is so cool. There are so many opportunities with this major, not even counting that I can specialize and go to graduate school."

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Hamline student Tjessa Arradondo

Arradondo has already dipped a toe into the work she may do as a professional. She works as a writer for the communications department, drafting newsletters, crafting faculty spotlights, and interviewing alumni on their path from Hamline to their career. One of her favorite interviews was with the chief of Roseville's fire department, who also studied communications at Hamline.

Arradondo communicates outside of the written word, too. She's a member of the Black Student Collective, which sponsors campus activities and speakers to raise awareness about and celebrate the rich cultural experiences of Hamline's Black students; and crafts collages and visual artwork published in Untold Magazine, a student lifestyle magazine.

Still, the communication studies department is where Arradondo finds her center on campus, finding particular connection with her advisor, communications professor, and department chair Suda Ishida. With all the options before her, Ishida has been a source of guidance for Arradondo as she considers her future career.

"She's been helping me explore what I want to do," Arradondo explained. "Her advice feels like a casual conversation, but in the end I realize I got so much mentorship out of it."

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