Advertising and public relations students from Fresno State’s Media, Communications and Journalism Department are helping their fellow students network while raising money for scholarships. The Take a Student to Eat (TASTE) team will connect students studying media, communications and journalism and art and design with alumni who are industry leaders for this year’s virtual event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 18.

The TASTE event gives students an opportunity to network and seek advice from industry professionals. Participants will connect on Zoom from all over the world. The event allows students to get a “taste” of life after college in their careers. The day begins with mentoring sessions from industry professionals, followed by career development workshops presented by Fresno State’s Career Development Center.

The event concludes with this year’s keynote speaker, Christine Rose, a journalist turned yoga instructor and entrepreneur. Rose will provide a presentation on “pivoting and reinventing your career during a pandemic.” Originally from Southern California, Rose made her way to the Central Valley about 15 years ago after accepting a position as news producer for ABC 30.

Two-time Emmy-nominated Fresno State graduate Tommy Rouse, one of this year’s TASTE mentors, said he is looking forward to connecting with a new generation of creativity and innovation from the students.

“I hope that my story inspires others to continue to work hard for what they want for their lives, and, in turn, I get to learn more about what is currently inspiring students who share similar interests in their career paths,” explained Rouse.

Student Abbygail de Castro, a TASTE coordinator, said this virtual event gives students valuable experience that will help in getting that first job.

“We as students sometimes worry about what we are doing after we graduate; we worry if we’ll find a job or not, we wonder if we know the right people or not, but by coming to TASTE we are able to visualize what the future holds,” she said. “Getting to network and bond with mentors is a great stepping stone for our beginning careers.”

Elizabeth Pompa Rios, a graphic design student, looks forward to networking at TASTE and gaining knowledge about what graphic designers do.

“I would also like to gain more experience and [find out] what I could learn or should learn prior to engaging in the field. Getting advice on job interviews would also be nice, as well as gaining knowledge on what a portfolio is supposed to look like when you apply to different companies,” added Rios.

The TASTE student organizers are raising funds for media, communications and journalism scholarships. Alumna Laura Maciel was the recipient of the Dr. Roberta Asahina Advertising Scholarship when she was a student, and she said the scholarship helped her ensure her final years at Fresno State.

“As a student who relied solely on financial aid, every cent mattered, especially as I kept getting closer to graduating. I knew that Fresno would become my home, and the support I received from the Media, Communications and Journalism Department really helped prepare me as I started my professional journey,” Maciel said.

TASTE is presented by MCJ 149 advertising and public relations service-learning students, led by Professor Jan Edwards in conjunction with the MCJ Alumni and Friends Chapter and the Fresno State Alumni Association.

For more information, contact Valeria Murguia at 661.453.6696 or

(Story by Valeria Murguia)