No Minor Achievement

If you were surprised to learn a business major could win the Promising Communicator Award, you’re not alone.

“As a marketing major I think it’s incredible that I’ve been named a finalist,” said Sarah Bean, a sophomore business marketing major and communications minor at Elon University. “I never thought my performance in communications would be award worthy.”

Nominated by her world religions professor, L. D. Russell, Bean is one of six finalists out of 180 applicants nationwide for the National Coalition of Communication Professionals’ inaugural award. The winner will be announced in November after a panel of media professionals examines each finalist’s work sample and letter of recommendation.

“The purpose of pursuing a communications minor was to facilitate [skills] that would get me far in business,” Bean said. “However, I have always considered myself someone who is exceptional [at] being aware of who I am communicating to and making my message relatable to others.”

Ben McFadyen, Bean’s former adviser at Elon, understands what makes her an effective communicator.

“Sarah speaks directly and succinctly, so it’s easy to talk with her,” said McFadyen. She grasps complex concepts quickly, which means I don’t have to spend a lot of time explaining.”

Bean first became involved in marketing while doing a middle school fundraiser in her hometown of Boyds, Md.

“I was told I was good at talking to people and should be in sales,” said Bean whose father also works in sales.

This new interest carried over into her economics class at Poolesville High School.

“We had to do a sales marketing pitch and I really enjoyed the creative element of the project,” Bean said.

Elon junior Jackson Moore participates in Intervarsity and works at Media Services with Bean.

“Sarah develops relationships with [others] that enable them to relax [and] helps them succeed in whatever they may be trying to accomplish,” Moore said. “I believe [these skills] will take her far.”

Which is exactly where Bean sees herself going.

Bean has her sights set on securing a London internship while studying abroad next fall. Although she loves the Harry Potter series, Bean chose England because there she can reconnect with foreign friends from Camp Sonshine, where she spent five summers as a camper and five as staff.

“At such an early start in her career, Sarah has already accomplished an impressive work record that shows increasing maturity and capability,” said McFadyen.

Although wining the award cold bring recognition within communications, Bean still sees her ideal career being in sales. However, she realizes things could change.

“Receiving this award could open a lot of doors into the communications field,” Bean said. “In the competitive economy it’s important to stand out from your peers and awards that highlight the things you’ve done prove your skills so you don’t have to.”

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