Alumnus Cameron Skoczlas graduated in 2009 and went to Texas Tech University. While in high school Skoczlas participated in drill team, STUCO and Bronco Brigade.
What have you done after high school?
“I attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX,” Skoczlas said. “I got my Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations in 2013 and a Master of Arts in Mass Communications in 2015. I lived in Orlando, Florida, for 6 months as part of my Disney College Program, interned at the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, and worked as a Red Raider Orientation Graduate Assistant for over a year. My first full-time job was Career Counselor at the College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech University, and in my spare time I volunteered at the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Lubbock, Texas. I moved back to DFW in 2016 and started my job as a Senior RFP Analyst at Securus Technologies, Inc., in April 2017.”
What made you want to do what you are doing now?
“When I was in high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do or where I would be,” Skoczlas said. “Sometimes I felt behind or lost because I didn’t have a set plan or future career in mind. Even after completing two degrees and internships, I never really knew, and honestly still don’t know, what I want my career to be. I have so many interests and passions, and there are so many possible career opportunities across hundreds of industries. It is overwhelming. To help me hone in on what I could see myself doing professionally, I focused on what I didn’t want to do in a career, took a bunch of personality tests, and that helped me narrow down options for possible careers. In college, I talked to my peers, meet professionals in industries I was interested in, and did my own research. I felt a lot better about keeping an open mind about my future. It also helped to talk to so many people because, turns out, the majority of people I talked were either lost or had been lost, too! My position at my current job is a supportive and guiding role, which is in my nature. I don’t have to do anything I am not comfortable with and I can apply my college education in many ways. It is a launching position within the company, and I look forward to many future opportunities.”
What did you learn or experience in high school affect you in college and beyond?
“Asking questions when you are lost is better than making avoidable mistakes,” Skoczlas said. “People can’t read minds, so when you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Also, pay attention and take notes. Even though people like to help, they don’t really enjoy repeating themselves over and over again…especially to the same person.”
Explain your job now.
“I draft and submit written proposals in response to Request For Proposals (RFPs),” Skoczlas said. “We provide communications solutions to correctional facilities all over the Country, and because most are governmental agencies, they are required to go out to bid (i.e. request proposals) in order to update service contracts. I can work on 1-4 projects a month, and spend most of my time looking for technical answers and sending emails to the sales team leading the RFP response. In my position, I get to communicate with multiple departments and individuals on a daily basis, which allows me to learn more about the company and the people I work with. I have to pay strict attention to details in RFP instructions and email communications, and stay on top of my team member’s schedules to ensure deadlines are met. My position holds many titles – project manager, technical writer, solutions analyst – but I’m just known as an RFP Analyst. I recently accepted a new role as the Public Safety RFP Analyst, so now I will learn a whole new sector in my company and help that team with proposals.”
What are your plans for the future?
“I look forward to exploring more opportunities at my current company and getting involved in the North Dallas community,” Skoczles said. “I would also like to travel. I know, cliche.”
What is your advice to current high schoolers?
“Group projects are the worst, but they don’t go away,” Skoczlas said. “Most of your college courses and future careers are endless group projects. Instead of resenting them, learn from each group project you work on. Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to working on a team, and look for ways to improve your teamwork skills and individual talents. These will translate into your future endeavors, so strive to be a great team member. Start working on your resumes now, especially if you are planning on applying to college, and keep up with them. No one is going to tell you what to do with your life. You have to make those decisions and own them. Don’t wait for someone to do it all for you. Ask questions if you are lost. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Also, just because something is happening in the news or on social media, doesn’t mean you have to believe it or do it. Do your research, consider all sides of a situation, and form your own thoughts and opinions. If someone doesn’t agree with you, they are not always wrong and you are not always right. Keep an open mind, stay kind, and stay true to yourself.”