How UFCJC Alum Found Harmony with Her Passion and Profession
By Michelle Holder, B.S. Journalism 2022
Kara Guillaume, B.S. Public Relations 2022, has been to over 80 concerts in her life. She’s seen Dua Lipa sing and dance to her hit songs, been to countless Justin Bieber shows, and even saw Harry Styles on his last night in Madison Square Garden. Her passion for music and business led her to pursue a career in music and entertainment communications.
From West Palm Beach and born to first generation Haitian parents, Guillaume came to the University of Florida as a marketing major, but she was drawn to the College of Journalism and Communications. After visiting the CJC Professional Advising and Teaching Hub and talking with current students, Guillaume saw the community and numerous opportunities at the College.
“CJC does an excellent job at giving students real-life experience, which is the most essential thing you can have,” Guillaume shared.
Guillaume was involved with many organizations, including working as a Journalism and Communications Ambassadors tour guide and interning with the Office of Careers and Corporate Partnerships (OCCP).
“I loved giving tours so much,” she said. “It really allowed me to give back. I just love CJC so much.”
Guillaume’s love for music was on display during her time at GHQ, the student-run audio entertainment service broadcast on radio and on a mobile app. She started out writing a few articles for the website, and then after a year of practicing her on-air voice, she started her own weekly radio show called “The Kickback with Kara,” where she talked about music she loved.
In June 2021, she joined The Agency as a project coordinator then eventually became a hiring coordinator, where she got a taste of working on the human resource side of the communications business. She enjoyed working on the internal team and also coordinating events and facilitating new member integration.
“I loved The Agency. The whole Agency team is incredible,” she said. “I really enjoyed the people, and I really tried my best to help everyone connect more.”
Guillaume was also able to explore her interests through her courses, including Crisis Communications with Public Relations Professional in Residence Pat Ford. One project was to analyze the Travis Scott crisis, when 10 concert goers where killed at one of his events, and how that had an impact on the music industry and how it affected all of Scott’s PR.
“I just think that if you’re taking a class and you’re doing a project or you’re doing an assignment and it’s really interesting to you, figure out what it is that interests you, and don’t be afraid to go for it,” she shared.
Guillaume’s experiences at UF helped her develop the skills that became useful throughout her internships.
As a corporate communications intern at Universal Studios, she assisted the public relations team through tracking media coverage, updating contact lists, and planning media events such as Halloween Horror Nights.
In September 2022, Guillaume started another internship at Warner Music Group as a talent acquisition intern. Through working on the recruiting side, she gained insight into the onboarding process. Sifting through over a thousand applicants and helping coordinate all Zoom meetings and onboarding documents, she noticed how factors such as keywords and strong resumes can have an impact in the recruitment and selection process.
“I think all students should use the UF Career Connections Center and the OCCP to help make sure they have a strong resume because we have the resources,” Guillaume shared. “I feel like that’s a very simple thing that can really make all the difference.”
After her internship at Warner Music Group, Guillaume left with better insight to the human resource side of the industry, yet she sought to find a job where she could be more creative, possibly as through marketing and public relations.
“Every step you take is a steppingstone into what you love, and I think the whole point of internships is to learn what you like and what you don’t like,” she said.
Guillaume is also enrolled the UF Warrington College of Business’ M.S. in Business Management program, which she plans to complete in August 2023. “Having that business foundation was essential, so that’s why I decided to get the masters,” she said. “It’s kind of like a mini-MBA, touching on all the core business topics while giving students flexibility in tailoring their program with electives.”
This spring, Guillaume will be interning with a global marketing team at Atlantic Records, which represents a lot of her favorite artists.
“I know that if I’m working on something that I’m passionate about, and that gets me excited, then that’s all I need,” she said. “That’s what drove me wanting to work in music and entertainment as a whole.”
Posted: March 2, 2023
Category: Alumni Profiles, College News, Profiles
Tagged as: GHQ, Kara Guillaume