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Alumni Question and Answer: Roben Graziadei with Camp Fire USA

Alumni Question and Answer: Roben Graziadei (MA, Counseling Psychology, 1989)

Ms. Graziadei was hired in April as Director of Marketing Communications for the national headquarters of Camp Fire USA, a highly respected organization that has been serving the interests and development of youth on a national level for over 100 years.

The Newswire talked with Ms. Graziadei about her job search, the importance of networking, the rapidly changing world of marketing and communications, and the value of community and higher education.

Newswire: Congratulations on your success in finding and landing a job at Camp Fire USA. For the benefit of alumni currently in the job market, could you share some insights regarding your job-seeking strategies? 

Ms. Graziadei:  I hired a career guide Karen Cottengim, who assisted me with what she calls a Proactive Job Search, in which we identified a list of the companies with a culture and value set that I believed would be a good fit for me. The next step was targeting those specific companies for employment.  As opposed to a reactive job search whereby one applies for any opening via the job search engines or randomly through company websites.

Newswire: So you targeted Camp Fire in Kansas City, Missouri. What attracted you to that organization?

Ms. Graziadei: I didn’t initially seek to work for a non-profit organization, but I made an exception because of the outstanding leadership at Camp Fire and the focus of the work we do in serving youth.

Newswire: According to the Kansas City Star, you were introduced to your career guide through a mutual acquaintance. How important would you say networking is in the job market today?

Ms. Graziadei:Networking is the key to finding the right job at the right time for the right reasons.  It is also important to consider that change is the only thing that we can count on in the corporate world.  Networking is something that you have control over and can take charge of to steer your career in the direction that you want it to go.

Newswire: Have you joined any networking organizations in Kansas City? How is the transition going as you adapt to your new home in the Midwest?

Ms. Graziadei: I was raised in both Kansas City and California,  I have many really good friends here. Also I have joined a networking group called Central Exchange that caters to professional women. Kansas City is very community oriented. Networking through community organizations has been very beneficial.

Newswire: Marketing and Public relations have changed significantly with the emergence of social media. Do you plan on utilizing sites such as Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin and Twitter in promoting Camp Fire USA?

Ms. Graziadei: Yes. We have incorporated a social media campaign as part of our marketing plan at Camp Fire. We are also using Social Media to engage and support Camp Fire’s 72 councils around the country.

Newswire: What about blogging?

Ms. Graziadei: Yes, blogging is part of our media strategy.  Our President and CEO Cathy Tisdale blogs as a youth development professional, which supports Camp Fire initiatives.

Newswire: Community is a core value at National University. Many of our graduates contribute to civil society directly and indirectly as part of their jobs. How do you perceive your role in positively impacting communities through Camp Fire?

Ms. Graziadei: That’s a Great question. Community is a core value of Camp Fire. Research shows that youth who are engaged in after school activities show increased positive social behaviors and decreased risky behaviors. Because of this research, Camp Fire offers before and after school programming. Research also indicates that when youth and teens of different backgrounds come together, bullying behavior is diminished. Camp Fire is an inclusive organization led by positive, caring adults that help young people build a strong self-image and raise their confidence. I’m really proud to be a part of Camp Fire’s mission. I am grateful to be in this role directing the marketing and communications for Camp Fire and promoting these programs with youth.

Newswire: You earned a master’s degree in counseling psychology from National University. How has your education prepared you for your current role, and how will it help you to succeed?

Ms. Graziadei: Another great question. My undergrad degree is in business administration and marketing.  I chose a Master’s degree in Psychology because understanding human behavior and motivations strengthens my marketing core capabilities. My Masters degree has offered added value in my interviewing process.

Newswire: Why did you choose National University?

Ms. Graziadei: I chose National because of its educational/teaching model, which is focused on adult learning with classes taught by professionals that are currently working in their field.  This was invaluable to me because I learned real world application on my topic of study. It also gave me a chance to sharpen my networking skills with professionals.

Newswire: Did you receive a quality education here?

Ms. Graziadei: Absolutely. I love National University and would recommend it to anyone.