(Life After College): Ryan Johnson


Name: Ryan Johnson
Graduation Year: 2008, University of Illinois (Urbana- Champaign)
College Degree: Bachelor & Master’s of Science, Journalism
Current Occupation: Communications Director,  American Heart Association

What did you have planned/lined up after graduation?
I planned to pursue a career in the field of public relations/communications.

What actually happened career wise for you post-graduation?
It was honestly a very challenging period post-graduation. I finished my masters in December 2008, right as the economy was on the decline. So, it was very difficult to obtain my ideal position right after college, but I learned to be patient and pursued several internships in my field that provided me with great experience; which ultimately made me a better communications professional.

What’s going on with you as of right now?
Upcoming plans.
Continuing to grow in my career and being open to whatever life has in store.

Special announcements.
Outside of my career, I run an entertainment and music blog, Wabash & Michigan, where I inject some humor into the celebrity news of the day.

I started my blog as a way to take my mind off the horrible job market I was experiencing. As soon as I was able to express myself on this platform, I almost immediately began my professional career, as I was soon offered a position in communications. It was crazy, so I always say, this blog was an unusual stepping stone.

Wabash & Michigan has greatly involved from being flat out mean when discussing celebrities, to providing a more humorous and lighthearted approach to entertainment news- with a slant towards the latest in music and highlighting new artists. I hope to see Wabash & Michigan reach more people, become that go to site and of course make readers laugh.



Lessons learned.
I learned to never give up on my goals, be more patient and flexible. Our parents always say, “you have to crawl before you can walk” and that’s so true. You really have to go through a few ups and downs in life to learn all the lessons that will make you a better individual both personally and professionally.


Thank you for sharing your journey Ryan!

Share your college story with us, here.


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