Dana Stancavage '16

Dana StancavageMajor: Communication
Hometown: West Palm Beach, FL

Describe your current job role:

As the communications assistant for North Dakota’s lone Member in the House of Representatives, I write press releases and statements, manage the website and multiple social media platforms, assist with policy meetings, coordinate interview requests, and handle legislative correspondence. It is a fast-paced and exciting environment to work in. 

What professional experience(s) did you have prior to your current job role?

Prior to working on Capitol Hill, I worked on PBA’s campus during my undergraduate studies. I worked in both the Office of Human Resources and Development in-between classes, as well as interned for Christians United for Israel in my junior year.

What do you know now that you wish you had known about being a working professional?

I wish I had known that networking is essential to growing in your career. It’s easy to stay in your own bubble, but having a far reach of contacts in various fields widens your perspective on issues.    

"Never let anyone work harder than you."

How did PBA prepare you for the world of work?

My communication and journalism classes partnered with working on campus prepared me for the tasks I would be given in my current role. While there are always opportunities to learn and be flexible in my job, I felt confident that my work experience and education at PBA prepared me well. Specifically, my Writing for Public Relations course allowed me to prepare a portfolio of work relative to my field and develop my craft. In addition, as a student I liked to take advantage of the resources in career development when it came to working on my resume and interviewing tips.   

What advice would you give to current PBA students and/or young alumni who are about to start their first professional full-time job?

Never let anyone work harder than you. This is a motto I lived by as a student and now as a young professional. There will always be someone who is wiser or more experienced in the field, but hard work ethic and integrity are unsurpassable. I would also recommend keeping an open="open" mind and be willing to do the work that no one else wants to do. I didn’t know why God opened the door for me to move to D.C., and it took a few months of working at Starbucks before landing my job on Capitol Hill. Now I see the persistence and hard work God let me go through to develop my character and succeed in the role He has me in now.     

Have you been mentored by anyone in your professional field since entering the workforce? If so, what impact has that had on you? 

Absolutely. I had a mentor throughout PBA in the Bridges program which was vital to my success, and I knew having a mentor in this new environment would benefit my career. Having someone around who has been through a similar experience is rewarding. Throughout my almost two years in D.C., I have been faced with a lot of decisions that have been made easier by the guidance of a mentor. In return, I love talking to friends who are still working on their degree and considering moving to D.C. about my perspective on navigating this city. 

Spotlight posted in April 2018. For more information about Dana, visit her LinkedIn page.