Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for spring 2018 commencement.
As a graduating senior at Arizona State University, Ciera Murray has these wise words to share with those still in school:
“You will hear it all the time, but I must say it: Try new things. Join clubs, go to events and use the resources provided to you because they will lead you to people and experiences that might change your life in unimaginable ways.”
Murray is graduating with her bachelor’s degree in communication with a media analysis minor from ASU’s Hugh Downs School of Communication.
For the Corona, California, native, approaching her college experience with a spirit of openness to new things allowed her to fully explore her passion for human communication and make the most of her time at ASU.
Murray found opportunities to become involved on campus, through which she gained and applied skills that will serve her future career.
As a student, she honed her communication skills with ASU Health Services where she focused on marketing health and wellness resources to the Sun Devil community.
“I really enjoyed the job because I was able to inform students about all the great programs and initiatives that ASU offers to help students live well and be healthy,” Murray said.
She was also able to connect with the ASU community through her spirituality with Chi Alpha, a Christian campus ministry.
After graduation, Murray plans to use her degree to work in public relations and eventually hopes to run her own firm. She is excited to apply the experience she has gained at ASU to her future communications career.
Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?
Answer: Coming to college was a very big deal for me; it was an opportunity that I had dreamed of and planned for years. When it came to deciding my field of study, I simply asked myself what I was passionate about. From there, I applied for the Hugh Downs School of Communication. My major is an inclusive field that allows me to explore everything related to human communication. The possibilities are endless, and I greatly appreciate that.
Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you, that changed your perspective?
A: I was surprised to find myself falling in love with every part of ASU — from the campus, to the classrooms, to the city where I stayed, ASU quickly became a second home and a significant part of my story. I learned who am I and who I am not. I learned how to care of myself and others. Most importantly, I learned how to keep moving forward.
Q: Why did you choose ASU?
A: I chose ASU because it offered what I needed for my desired career. It is also out of state, but not too far. The academic resources and proximity to my home got me out here, but the people and the things I have learned along the way are the reason I stayed.
Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?
A: The Starbucks at the Memorial Union. The environment is fast-paced and often crowded, but when I sit down at a table, time seems to slow down and I can focus. The energy there is like no other place on campus — it is a great place to be!
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: I have many plans and goals for my professional career, but I am most excited about having more time to work in ministry and really get involved with my church.
Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?
A: Our nation's education system could greatly benefit from the funding; a lot of schools do not have the resources they need or deserve. As someone who has just earned a college degree, I am lucky to say that I had the proper education that got me here; however, not everyone gets this opportunity. It is important to give each growing mind the chance to learn. After all, we cannot change the world on our own merit, it must be done together!
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