Michelle Truelson

--- Educator, Communications Consultant and Writer ---

Bringing in communication professionals to guest lecture in my classroom is an excellent way to bring the material home and to further inspire students and to educate them on the various opportunities in our industry.
You are obviously not a career academic! What motivates you to give back to the academic community?

I have chosen to dedicate this time of my career to teaching because I always wished I had professors who worked in the industry who could offer true perspectives and insights into the field I was interested in. I also believe that everyone should give back and teach in some capacity in their lifetime.

What are your thoughts on the guest speaker method?

I think the guest speaker method is incredibly valuable! I bring in on average 5-6 guest lecturers per semester in my classes. It is a critical way for students to make connections between what they are learning and what is happening in the industry.

What advice would you give other professionals interested in sharing their knowledge or their career journeys?

There are few things as fulfilling as sharing your knowledge with others! Taking the time to speak to college students about what they can expect in their future careers, navigating a career and a job search, and overall just instilling them with real world advice and insight is not only rewarding, but incredibly important as we prepare future communications leaders and professionals!

Michelle Truelson Bio:

Michelle Truelson has more than two decades of experience in corporate communications, public affairs and political communications. She is an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University teaching public relations and writing. Her experience includes developing strategy and conceiving and writing communications vehicles for a variety of clients in the government, nonprofit and corporate sectors. She worked as a senior communications leader for Genentech Inc., and has served in senior client roles at several prominent communications and political agencies throughout her career. Past clients include Levi Strauss & Co., Chevron, the Embassy of Sweden, San Francisco International Airport, Mercy Corps and Marriott International, to name a few. In addition to her corporate communications, teaching and writing work, Michelle has also published a number of articles on parenting and developed a children’s book.

I love talking about my work, life, and perspectives. It's a very engaging and fulfilling experience for me to be able to connect with people openly and honestly on that level.
- Adeet Deshmukh
Guest lecturing is rewarding in that it allows me to stay abreast of what the next generation is thinking and what the top academics are concerned about and it allows me to give back and share my wisdom with tomorrows society leaders.
- Rishad Tobaccowalla
There is a distance between the world of academia and industry-- giving back to students with a professional's perspective tightens that distance and gives students invaluable direction for their future.
- Jared Nicol
The divide between the industry and academia is widening. The next generation of graduates are being armed with knowledge and skills that are irrelevant by the time they graduate. Professionals must collaborate with professors and cultivate classrooms where everyone benefits.
- Richie Etwaru
Bringing in communication professionals to guest lecture in my classroom is an excellent way to bring the material home and to further inspire students and to educate them on the various opportunities in our industry.
- Michelle Truelson
One of the biggest challenges for college professors is insuring that real-world demands of work and of professions are represented. Most professors have career experience working as teachers and researchers and don’t necessarily have detailed understanding of the needs of other professions. At the same time, we are expected to help prepare the next generation to move into business and professions. Guest lectures can be one solution to this challenge. Industry experts, corporate leaders, and business professionals can help insure that class content is relevant to the world of work.
- Matthew Seeger, Ph.D.
Most rewarding experience for me is getting students excited about a career in Consumer Insights, and seeing the value of anthropological thinking to consumer research
- Timothy Malefyt, Ph.D.
I am very motivated to share my life and professional experiences with students, so that I can bring some insight into the world of entrepreneurship, which is the most scary, grueling yet rewarding career path there is.
- Gaye Tomlinson
Speaking provides an opportunity for me to teach and share information that can change lives.
- Karen I. Wilson, Ph.D.
Guest lecturing provides an opportunity to connect with community at-large
- Mugdha Yeolekar, Ph.D.
I like talking about PR because it’s something everything thinks they understand - but they really don’t know how it is different from advertising or marketing. I break it down in simple terms and make the tactics and theories very digestible.
- Andrea Holland
I have been very fortunate in my life and career. It’s my pleasure to share my experience to help others get their start.
- Don Lupo
“I’m on and see both sides of the equation. I ask and I deliver as a presenter. For 46 years and 79 semesters of teaching, I have used as many as 27 outside pros to make a memorable semester of Marketing, business or advertising classes at USC, at CSUN, at LMU and at Pepperdine (Both undergrad and graduate). The speakers help a class standout, be memorable and the students stay interested and focused. The students get much more from an organized, special class with relevant, top-notch speakers, presenters and judges. Always have and always will.”
- Larry Steven Londre
I strongly believe in the practice of service, whether it was my military service or just helping total strangers. At this point in my life experience, I suppose I have entered the developmental stage of generativity, where I want to contribute to the wellbeing of younger generations.
- Kevin Beatty
I invite guest speakers to show my students people who look like them who have achieved. I want to put them in the room with people who have the potential to shape their careers. I know from my personal experience how a guest speaker can change the way you see yourself and what’s possible for you.
- Ebony Utley, Ph.D.