Alumni Spotlight

Craig Andrew Smith

Why did you choose your major?

Choosing a major was a challenge because of how narrow and focused many undergraduate programs seemed to me. When I dedicated some time and research on the Communication Department, Organizational/Corporate Communication seemed to embody a wealth of studies that could be applied in several areas of business or government.

How did your major help prepare you for what you are doing now?

My role has always involved business development. Understanding someone’s business and managing communications is essential to my success. With my current firm, our approach with how we help manage communications and expectations for our clients and partners is at the core of what we provide and is the absolute value our clients expect and deserve.

What do you feel is special about the NIU program?

I admire the professors and the curriculum and feel extremely fortunate to have been involved with the Communication Program at NIU.

Why would you recommend your major program to other students?

  • No matter what business or profession one pursues, clear, direct communication skills are incredibly valuable.
  • Communication is why major projects, initiatives or government programs succeed or fail.
  • When recruiting, the number one primary criteria for many companies is finding someone who can write or communicate well.
  • There is such a variety of directions one can take with a Communication major – the opportunities are endless.

Is there anything you would like to tell prospective students?

Travel. Learn multiple languages. Try not to take work or any role you take on too seriously. Enjoy the process. Take time off when you need to. Take care of yourself and others along the way – we’re all in this together.

What is your current occupation?

Currently, I’m expanding new business opportunities and market development strategies for an independent management consulting firm whose sole purpose is to objectively help mid-market companies better align their operations and technology strategy – particularly, with enterprise software.

B.A. Communication Studies, 2001

Director of Business Development, SWK Technologies