By Shannon Mullane (MJour'19)
Photo by Kimberly Coffin (CritMed, StratComm’18)

When it comes to reaching her goals, there’s not much that can stop fourth-year student Kendall Brooke Winer.

Originally from Westlake Village, California, Winer moved in 2018 to pursue her education at the University of Colorado Boulder. Already an ace at international travel, the 1,000-mile move was an easy step as she pursued her passion for experiencing new places. Then at CU, Winer sought out classes where she could learn from instructors who could share valuable first-hand, professional experience, like Loni Peterson, owner of an events management company.

“I think it’s really helpful to have someone who’s a teacher and who works within the field,” said Winer, who did a capstone course with Peterson after taking her event planning elective in the Department of Advertising, Public Relations and Media Design.

Don’t let your voice be lost, but rather speak up for yourself and your ideas."

This month, Winer graduates with a degree in Strategic Communication, focused on public relations, a minor in global business, and the distinction of being the William W. White Outstanding Graduate. This award is bestowed to the student graduating with the highest GPA in the College of Media, Communication and Information.

Before her next adventure, Winer stopped to share how she’s grown throughout college, more about her dream job and her advice for future cohorts of Buffs.

 Based on what you know now, what is your best piece of advice for other students?
My best piece of advice for other students is to take risks and be involved, even if that means trying something new for the first time. I would not have made as many connections, or have had as many fun experiences, if I did not try new things and have an open mind while doing them.

​  What’s an area where you feel like you’ve really grown between your first semester of college and today?
One area that I feel I have really grown in between my first semester of college and today is advocacy. In order to succeed, you need to be an advocate for yourself, whether it be getting help in a class or trying to start a new venture. Don’t let your voice be lost, but rather speak up for yourself and your ideas.

​ No pressure to have this figured out yet, but do you have any post-graduation plans at the moment?
After graduation, I have secured a job from my internship at Roane Travel Design. Roane Travel is a family-owned, luxury travel design business, specializing in East Africa. I will be helping to create itineraries and expand our business and clientele into new countries and continents. Additionally, I hope to move internationally in the next few years.

​ It’s clear that you took academics very seriously during your time at CMCI. Outside of classwork, what’s something you learned about yourself during college?
Something that I learned about myself during college was that I enjoy stepping out of my comfort zone. I was never one to settle for the norm. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, I was in a semester-at-sea program that left in January 2020 out of Mexico. We were 14 to 15 days into our journey when we landed in Japan and disembarked. That same day, we got an email from the cruise ship saying we couldn’t go to China because of the coronavirus, and from there it went downhill. I actually dropped out of school because that was the only way to get off the cruise ship, and I stayed in South Africa. I redid the semester credits that summer and was back on track in time for my junior year.

Also, when I started looking for an internship, I only looked internationally, which is how I ended up with my current internship with Roane Travel Design based in Tanzania. The internship really taught me how to be flexible and stay on my toes. In the travel industry, things are constantly changing, especially with COVID. I have to be laid back—both on top of things and open to changes.

​ Ten years from now, if you could create your perfect career, what would it look like?
If I could create my perfect career, I would be paid to travel. Additionally, I would be working in the luxury travel sector being a resort critic.

​  If you’re up for a challenge, try to sum up your college experience in three words!
Exploration, experimentation and exposure.

Connect with Kendall Winer on Instagram at kendallwiner.