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Senior Interview: Lexi Thibodeaux

Graduating senior, Lexi Thibodeaux (Communication Studies major)

Asking Lexi about her Departmental Honors project, her reflection on Augsburg, and her life moving forward.


For your departmental honors project, what did you decide to do and why?

“So I did a project on diversity within public relations. Yeah, like short backstory, basically, there was a program that one of my professors sent to me and I was part of the program. And we kind of just talked about different things with NPR. And it was like on Zoom. And then pretty much every time we met, they’d always be like, ‘this is so important. We really need you guys. We need diversity,’ blah, blah, blah, blah. But no one really talked about the backside of why it was important. So that’s why I wanted to do that project, kind of to discover why it was so important and why people kept saying that to me.”

What advice would you give to someone who wants to complete a departmental honors project?

Lexi’s 3 Pieces of Advice for Departmental Honors Projects:

  1. “I would say, make the timeline. Because I think especially for me, at least, when I was doing qualitative stuff, it felt like I had more time than I actually did. And I was like, ‘that’s not gonna be that bad. I just have to interview people, or I’d have to read through interviews,’ and that stuff. And I think it’s always better to have more time than less. So make a timeline, whether that’s by yourself or with your professor.”
  2. “I would say that it’s okay to change something as you go. So if you start off with one goal, and then you do interviews, and you’re actually like ‘Wow, this thing that people are talking about, I actually want to shift my focus to this,’ because I think it’s better to work on something that you actually care about, and that you’re passionate about. Rather than stick with something that you might have thought about in the beginning of the semester, just because you don’t feel like you can change it. Because I think that’ll show through, like if you don’t actually care about what you’re talking about.”
  3. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I think for me, at least, I always felt like if I needed help with something, I needed to reach out to whatever professors classes were for. So like, if I was working on something for Kristen, I feel like I need to ask her. But the rest of the department is there to help you. They want to see you succeed. Nobody, there’s gonna be like, ‘What a stupid question. Why did you come here?’ So don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether that’s from other students or your professor, your advisor or outside sources.” 

What is the most valuable lesson that you’ve learned getting through all of this?

“Continue to be open to learning. And don’t feel like you know it all. I think there were a lot of times I just like..I don’t feel like I walked around like a know–it–all, but I think mentally there were a lot of things where I was like, ‘I know this already, I know how to do this already. I don’t need your help, blah, blah, blah.’ But like, there’s always something that you can learn. And I think if you walk in with an attitude of like, ‘you know, everything you’re supposed to know that,’ you’re not gonna learn anything. But I think if you take the time to take a step back and understand that you don’t know everything, there’s gonna be some things you do know and some you don’t know and be okay with that.”

What kind of stuff are you going to be doing after graduation now?

“I’m going to take the longest nap I’ve ever had! But seriously, I do have a job lined up. So I’m going to be working in the marketing communications department at Medtronic. I am how I describe myself to people as I’m a creative communicator. So like, I love to sing, I write music. I love to draw, I love podcasts. But I also like, for right now I have opportunities in the corporate world that I’m cool with. So I think the end goal is like, I would love to be able to do all of those things. My end goal would be to be able to do music full time. And then I want to get to a place where I run my own label where I train up other kids in the music industry. I think all of the things that I’m learning in school come into play with that, because all that’s communicating. It’s just kind of like, ‘Am I doing it face to face? Am I doing it through song? Am I doing it digitally?’ So that is the end goal. But immediately, I will be working at Medtronic and continuing to make stuff whether that’s musically or digitally.”

How do you plan to balance your corporate job and your creative passions and goals? How have you been balancing being a student and employee while pursuing these goals?

“Everything is figure-out-able”

“One thing that my mom always said to me growing up was that everything is figure–out–able. So you don’t have to just like know, you can figure stuff out. So if you want to be a traveling dancer while you’re learning German and learning to cook like you can do it you just have to time manage, you know what I’m saying? So I think like I think for me, I had to understand that one just because I have a talent. That doesn’t mean I don’t have to work at it. If anything, I have to work harder. And that was kind of a hard pill to swallow.” 

Time Management

“Okay, I have this job, but this is the passion that I have. How am I going to set up my time to do that? So maybe that means like, I’m not gonna go to the gym at night, I’m gonna go in the morning, maybe that means I only hang out with friends Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and I’m writing Monday and Thursday. So, I think being okay with putting in some work beyond what’s expected of you.”

“It’s not an all or nothing thing” 

“So I think, traditionally, there was like a big joke of like, being a starving artist, because it’s like, ‘it’s my art or nothing.’ You can work from eight to four, and then like, take a break, and then work on your craft from like, six to eight. I don’t think it has to be such an all or nothing thing. So- shifting focus and priority.”

“Knowing how to shift focus.”

“I’m not a big fan of living in a cardboard box. Just because I want to be a singer doesn’t mean I want to be a starving artist. I enjoy Nikes, I like sushi. I would like to have money. And so I think, if an opportunity is like the job at Medtronic- something that I got through an internship at Augsburg- yeah, it’s not something I necessarily imagined doing. But I like it, and it’s not soul sucking, so that was really important for me. But then also, I was like, ‘okay, just because I’m doing this, this doesn’t mean this is the rest of my life. I use that if it’s like, I want to buy new podcast equipment, use the money that I make for work,’ you know what I’m saying? Yeah, you pick what you want to do.”

Alumni Spotlight: Shevon Greene

We connected with Shevon Greene, a Communication Studies, Film, and New Media department alum. Shevon graduated in 2021 with a degree in Communication Studies. She has answered several questions letting us know about her experience at Augsburg and what she is doing now.

Shevon Greene
Photo of Shevon Greene

Tell us a bit about yourself.  

“I was born and raised in Minneapolis and have lived in the metro area for most of my life. I still reside in Minneapolis on the outskirts of downtown. I love the creative side of communications, advertising and content creation, I have a passion for DEI  [Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion] and a fun fact about me is that I adopted a hedgehog a couple years ago.”

What are you doing now?  

“After being a college intern with Xcel Energy for 3 years within HR and Communications departments, I was offered a job as a Brand Assistant in the Ad & Brand department. My job is essentially being a brand champion, which means being an expert in the brand standards and guidelines and encouraging that within the company, ensuring that all communications and ads are up to brand standard, and I also assist in content creation and writing for various ads on behalf of Xcel Energy.” 

How are you using what you studied in the Department of Communication Studies, Film, and New Media Studies in your current job? What helped prepare you for your current job?

“Two classes that instantly come to mind are Interpersonal Communication and Intercultural Communication. I remember learning about Interpersonal Communication, specifically about different cues in both verbal and nonverbal communication, and seeing that in the workplace now has been insightful. Intercultural Communication was also a great class to take, especially for the workplace when you are communicating and collaborating with different people who have their own ways of communication based on how they were raised or what their customs are. “

What advice do you have for current students majoring in Communication Studies, Film, and/or New Media Studies?

“Enjoy the classes while you still have them because I miss them a lot and I’m grateful that I learned so much from them. Also, don’t feel pressured to know exactly what you want to do with your career right away. Just live in the moment and take in the learning experiences.” 

Are there any projects you’re currently working on that you’d like to share with us?

“Currently I am helping lead on the steering committee of Xcel Energy’s first Asian American Pacific Islander Business Resource Group as the Communications & Branding Director.” 

Alumni Spotlight: Callie Jones

We connected with Callie Jones, a Communication Studies, Film & New Media department alumna. She graduated in 2017 with a major in Film Production, and minors in Communications and Spanish. She answered several questions letting us know about her experience at Augsburg and what she is doing now. 

Tell us about yourself. Where do you currently work, live, etc.

Callie Jones Headshot

I’m currently working as a freelance television broadcast technician in the Twin Cities. My current position is doing Graphics as a Television Broadcast Technician with the Minnesota House of Representatives in the Information Services Department.

What was your major and what year did you graduate? 

At Augsburg I majored in Film Production with minors in Communications and Spanish. I graduated in 2017.

What are you doing now?  Describe what your job entails.

As a freelancer, I have had the opportunity to hold several different positions over the last four years. I primarily work in Sports Production and have worked for Fox Sports North, The NFL Network, ABC, and Long Haul Trucking – just to name a few fun ones. I spend most days on television production trucks for high school, college, and semi-professional sports broadcasts around the Twin Cities as an editor, graphics operator, score box operator, replay operator, and camera person! Every day is different, and that’s a huge part of why I love my job.

How are you using what you studied in the Department of Communication Studies, Film, and New Media Studies in your current job?

The classes that prepared me most for my current job taught me how to do every aspect of production! Learn as many different aspects of the industry as you can. Being knowledgeable about different crew positions makes finding work easier until you find your niche!

What was the most memorable part of your experience at Augsburg? In our department?

I met my best friends in the Film Department making short films in Murphy Square on a 16mm Bolex. A lot of my time overlapped with the Athletic Department as a Track and Field Athlete where I met some of the best people, traveled around the US, ran really fast, and made two sports documentaries with the support of the Film and Athletic Departments. I was lucky to go to a school that really understood the student-athlete experience. I had the best of both worlds doing all of the things that I loved as a student/artist and as an athlete. I never felt like I had to choose one over another.

What advice do you have for current students majoring in Communication Studies, Film, and/or New Media Studies?

Use the “small school” aspect of Augsburg to your advantage – really build relationships with your professors and the staff at Augsburg! They will be able to better help you choose classes that you are passionate about, give you the support you need while you are working on projects/films in college, and get you connected to people at Augsburg and in the community that can help you be successful after graduation. I owe the professors and staff at Augsburg so much for connecting me to the right people my senior year. Professor Jenny Hanson, Don Stoner (Sports Information Department, Augsburg Athletics), Kelly Anderson Diercks (Associate Athletic Athletic Director), and Former Head Track and Field Coach, Emily Hackert, helped bring my keystone documentary to life. They did everything they could to support my project, and that short film helped me get the internship that kick-started my career.

Anything you didn’t learn/encounter during your time spent in college that you wish you would have known heading into the professional workforce?

Be flexible when you are getting started in the industry. Taking jobs that don’t pay well or are really long days may be discouraging, but you get 100% out of it what you put in. Talk to people that are in roles that you could see yourself in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years. Ask them what they did to get there, what they were doing at your age, what their favorite gig has been, or what they like/dislike about their job. This will help inform your career path and tell you what you need to be doing now to get to where you want to be later. I still do this four years after college, and it can be a great ice breaker on set.

CGEE: Communication and Media Studies: Migration & Social Change in Mexico

Written by Preston Peterson | Photos by Jenna McNallie

Augsburg University’s Center for Global Education and Experience is offering a semester-long study abroad opportunity in Cuernavaca, Mexico Fall 2020! The study abroad semester surrounds Communication and Media Studies: Migration & Social Change in Mexico. The program surrounds topics of responsible journalism, immigration, migration, the environment, marginalized groups and connections to media. The priority application deadline is March 1 and the final deadline is April 1.

To learn more, visit Augsburg CGEE: Communication and Media Studies: Migration & Social Change in Mexico.

elevated view of the neighborhood in cuernavaca
Neighborhood view | Photo: Jenna McNallie
view of courtyard from a second story balcony
Courtyard | Photo: Jenna McNallie