Digging beneath the surface

Mediator and communicator Constance-Sophie Almendares graduates with eye on public relations

Constance Sophie-Almendares

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2022 graduates.

Growing up in Granada Hills, Los Angeles, with a brother and sister who were much older, Constance-Sophie Almendares was always the mediator in household conflicts.

“I'm the only one that can keep a level head,” she said.

Now, graduating from Arizona State University with a master’s degree in mass communication, she realized the perfect industry for her skill set was public relations. As she went through journalism classes for her bachelor’s degree, she realized she liked the communications classes that were more on the public relations side. She started taking PR classes. Now most of her internships and jobs are in that field.

“I think going through the reporting classes, it really showed me that everyone has a story,” Almendares said. “Even if you don't see it at first, you have to dig underneath the surface level to really understand why people do what they do and the reasons behind everything that happens. And then in PR it also showed me the other side of that: why people communicate in a certain way. I've always understood that about myself in the sense of I was the baby of the family, but I was the family mediator. So it kind of brought all of my skills into the perfect industry for myself.”

Question: Why did you choose ASU?

Answer: To get away from my family. To be able to grow up by myself and not have anyone hold my hand while I did it. I love my family, but I wanted to be able to do something that was solely my own.

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: Lisa Schmidtke, the PR lab director, because she handles everything with grace. Even when the worst of the situations come up with clients or just things are not going well with students, she she's very tactful. So she's very careful in the words that she says and tries to make sure that she's not gonna hurt anyone's feelings. Cause at the end of the day, it's not personal. It's just things that need to get done. And you have to put your foot down, but it doesn't mean you have to be cruel to people.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: Learn what time management is, especially if you're a journalism major. I have noticed that anyone who is a journalism major or a journalist has the worst procrastination ever. We're always leaving things to the last second. So just learn how to do things in a timely manner. And you'll be set up for success.

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: I really liked hanging out at the law building. I think it's the third or fourth floor where they have that open patio. So it's just all in open space, you get fresh air. So I like to do that because I love being outside. But having to work on a computer all day, you can't really do that. So it was a perfect balance of both.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I have a part-time freelance job lined up at a local Phoenix advertising agency doing internal and external PR for them. And I'm going to be traveling around Europe while I work. I'm going to be in France, visiting my family because I'm French American. I’m going to be in Germany, seeing my grandma and then going to some weddings and then traveling around Italy and Barcelona, cause I love Spain. And then after that, hopefully apply to an agency and get a job at a big agency.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I think it's hard to tackle anything with just 40 million, but I'd want to tackle climate change through the use of  helping everyone get an electric or hybrid vehicle. So we can limit the amount of carbon emissions in the world. I think that'd be the first step, but there are many other steps that would have to be taken as well.

Top photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

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