Graduate Student-Jacob Pillis

photo of Jacob Pillis

Pillis credits SOC professors for strong preparation

By Matthew Perry

Jacob Pillis graduated from Virginia Tech in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. However he always felt that at some point he would come back to Radford. He decided to come in the spring of 2013 to earn his master’s degree in communication.

“Both my parents graduated from Radford in the early 80’s, this is where they met,” said Pillis. “My brother is a senior here, I’ve had aunts, uncles, and cousins go here.”

It’s obvious that Pillis has always had a little Highlander blood in him. Even though it took him a little longer than some to figure out this was a place for him. Even though he has only been at Radford for a year and a half, he can already see all the great things Radford has to offer.

“There are a lot of opportunities to put things on your resume when you attend Radford,” said Pillis. “I didn’t know how to develop my own web page until I took Dr. [Sam] Jennings’ class.”

Pillis is also working in Porterfield in the equipment office for the School of Communication. It is an administrative position, but it has taught him how to use social media correctly.

“A lot of bosses aren’t going to hire someone strictly for social media, they’re going to want someone that can handle twenty other things including social media,” said Pillis.

It is always known that Virginia Tech is a much bigger school than Radford. It’s believed by some that because of that there would be more opportunities to build your resume. Pillis is unsure if that statement holds true.

“Being here at Radford I feel like there is more comradery because you get to know your professors more,” said Pillis. “At Tech there might be 500 students in the major but only five would get the opportunity to do research with the professor. I don’t feel like just a face in the crowd.”

Pillis also notes that it may also be because he chose to come back to school that he is searching for more things.

“It’s always been a thing that you’re going to go to college, and I felt like I was just going through the motions as an undergrad,” said Pillis. “Where as now it is my decision to come back to school, I wanted to come back, so I look for more opportunities like working for the Tartan or in Porterfield.”

He worked selling advertisements for the Tartan, a skill he can put on his resume when applying for jobs. He also enjoyed everything the Tartan had to offer.

“Sometimes we get an ad where we need to create it, for example Copper Beach gave us info and we gave it to a graphic design class to create one,” said Pillis. “The Tartan is intertwined with so many departments it’s just really cool.”

Pillis isn’t quite sure what he is going to do when he finishes his master’s program in the spring, but believes Radford has given him the skills to succeed.

“When I go to interviews I’m going to talk about the experiences I’ve had here at Radford,” said Pillis. “This is where I gained all my experience, I don’t think I’ll talk about anything from when I was 19-22. I never really thought about what its like to be professional until all the professors talked about it here at Radford.”

Pillis ended with some advice for undergrads that might be wondering what to do when they graduate.

“Get in with your professors, I’ve never met any professors before that just care about their students going out and getting jobs,” said Pillis. “They want us to be successful, and to encourage others to come to Radford. Your professors really do want what’s the best for you, and at Radford they really make sure you’re prepared to be.”


Oct 16, 2015
School of Commuication