Colleen Perrin, KLN '00, spent five years completing the master of journalism program at Klein College and another 10 years working for elite global health services organizations like Johnson & Johnson, Cigna and Wyeth. She worked in public relations, internal communication, human resources and organizational communication.
"Temple helped me to prepare for a work ethic that served me well in my current career," said Perrin.
But working full time while pursuing a degree through night classes proved challenging at times.
"I felt that I really needed to improve my writing and that I needed to understand the journalist perspective," Perrin said. "If I wanted to move ahead, I needed to get more focused."
Today, she is the director of global organizational communications at Johnson & Johnson, where she supports the company's leaders in communicating business strategy. She utilized the skills gained from her master of journalism to shape and influence her writing.
"It encouraged me to explore issues from different angles and think about things more broadly," said Perrin.
With a bachelor's degree in policy and management studies from Dickinson College, a liberal arts institution in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Perrin grew an interest in organizational communications. She began working an entry-level public relations position at Cigna while pursuing her masters. After the completion of her degree, she continued in public relations and health care.
"I wanted to stay in health care, participating in something that's really helping people," said Perrin. She shifted into internal communications after a move to Wyeth, a Philadelphia-based pharmaceutical company, and then again to Endo Pharmaceuticals. She eventually landed her Johnson & Johnson position, where she has worked for the last six years.
Perrin gained employment at Johnson & Johnson by networking and creating valued relationships. With a strong work ethic and attention paid toward getting to know colleagues, the path to new opportunities was always open.
After a decade in health services. Perrin wants to stay with Johnson & Johnson.
"I would love to continue to be challenged and advance in my career," she said. "I really enjoy learning about the business and using my communication skills to support business issues."
She encourages current students to be persistent in pursuing any passions and especially advises writers to practice their craft.
Perrin raises two children and in her spare time dedicates herself to reading and social gatherings with family and friends.