Alumni Tale: Desiree Crossley ’03

What did you study at UNH?

English/Journalism

What were you doing 1 year out of college?

I was working as a copy editor, page designer and occasional writer for the Portsmouth Herald/Seacoast Media Group in Portsmouth, N.H. It was the perfect job for me and exactly where I wanted to be a year out of college. I was also working on buying my first property. It was a great year!

What were you doing 5 years out of college?

I was deputy managing editor for the Portsmouth Herald/Seacoast Media Group. I was designing front pages and section fronts, along with related graphic elements, on a daily basis, as well as copy editing, occasionally writing for the paper and  assigning news and photography coverage for breaking news. I also had a freelance gig writing Internet copy for a real estate firm, was the sole owner of my condo and the owner of two cats.

What are you doing now?

I’ve spent the last two years as the statewide marketing/PR/outreach coordinator for the Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships in Education initiative, made possible by a $20M federal grant awarded to N.H.’s community colleges. I am employed by the Community College System of New Hampshire and have several responsibilities: managing the development and launch of the AMPed NH brand and associated print and digital marketing collateral and content, writing and pitching PR, making live radio/TV/in-person presentations to groups of students, lawmakers, state agencies and workforce agencies and managing six social media properties and all the content for our website. The job has taken me to all corners of the state and allowed me to build a varied and widespread professional network, while working to help change the lives of our students and NH’s job seekers. It’s been an awesome gift to be able to tell student success stories, elevate the perception of advanced manufacturing and be part of growing a healthier high-tech workforce here in the state.

How do you feel your time at UNH has had an impact on where you are today?

UNH gave me my background and (through an internship required for graduation) my start in the field of journalism. It was instrumental in my professional growth. The skills I learned at UNH formed a strong foundation from which I could jump into the industry. I cannot emphasize it enough: Project- and industry-based learning is the way to go, and the UNH journalism degree gets that right. Further, strong journalistic skills (plus design experience built on the job) helped me transition successfully from the journalism industry into the environment of PR and marketing with almost no additional instruction.