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Alumni Profile: Tasayeh Nickens

Looking towards the nonprofit sector

By: Parker Vogel

Photo Credit: Tasayeh Nickens

Tasayeh Nickens is a recent alum of the Media and Communication Studies department at UMBC, who earned her diploma in January of 2024 and will be walking in May.

Tasayeh first went for nursing at the University of Alabama for two years before making a major shift towards UMBC since she was only five minutes away from the campus. Initially, she arrived at the Social Work major because of the way in which she could make an impact and help people, but eventually became a Media and CommunicationStudies major due to the opportunities the degree offers to help and communicate with people while also utilizing creative ideas, tools, and endeavors. She recounts always being tech savvy while growing up, being an active user on sites like Tumblr and running a personal blog, and the communicative aspect of the major was a good fit because it could take her in so many different directions post-graduation.

Tasayeh currently works two jobs, one as an operations assistant at Fearless, an impact-focused digital service integrator based in Baltimore, MD, in which she helps people through administrative work, aids in running events, and acts as a second hand to projects within the company. Her other position is as an educator for lululemon, where she brings in the more personal and friendly atmosphere to the company for a better guest experience by greeting guests and recommending products and promotions when possible.

Ideally, Tasayeh wants to work in the nonprofit sector; having tried nursing and social work as two possible majors, a communications or marketing role at a nonprofit organization seems ideal because she can do what she loves in helping others while contributing through the avenue of her degree from UMBC. The job hunt isn’t easy, though, and Tasayeh notes that the job market feels worse now than it previously did. She takes it day by day and acknowledges that no one will ever find the perfect opportunity, which is why patience and taking time to apply for worthwhile positions is a key component of the process. Over time and through applications, experience, and interviews, she says she learns what she likes and doesn’t like, and remembers that nothing is permanent and there is always room for growth and transitions, just like she saw in her academic career. She is currently in the interview process with House of Ruth Maryland’s Training Institute in Baltimore, MD, a site for community education, training, consultation, and technical assistance to professionals and the larger community on intimate partner violence. Going for a Community Engagement Specialist position, Tasayeh chooses to apply to them as she has a deep compassion for survivors experiencing intimate partner violence and wants to help in whatever means that she can. She has seen the stories and struggles of others, and this role would allow her to train people on the issues related to intimate partner violence in order to bring more knowledge and understanding to the topic.

When asked what she would love other Media and Communication Studies students to take from their time at UMBC, she recounts the resources on campus and to divide time; finding career pathways through the Career Center, engaging in outside activities like pilates, and taking any internships you can find to get a better sense of your career motivations and needs are all worthwhile tips to work up to while completing classes. In addition, Tasayeh mentions the ways the courses the media and communication studies department offer give so much opportunity to be creative and think outside the box in order to create an even stronger portfolio of work, and even the capstone course allows students to explore their passions to the fullest extent through whatever topic they so choose.

Posted: May 3, 2024, 1:02 PM