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After graduation, Taylor students are well-prepared to move into a wide range of careers, including the nonprofit sector. Fueled with a passion for telling stories of redemption and hope, Jenny Shaffer ’08 chose to build her future at Operation Mobilization (OM), an international missions organization with workers in 147 countries.
Shaffer has worked at OM for 15 years, starting as a writer and photographer. Now the Director of Global Creative Networks, she provides oversight to major projects and strategic creative decisions. Her team includes communication creative roles, including graphic designers, writers, photographers, and videographers. With a treasure trove of experiences of seeing ministry around the world, from Ireland to Indonesia, she has a strong foundation for her work.
“I’m in charge of coordinating large group projects,” she said. “Some aspects of my job involve project management, but I also develop various campaign strategies with other communication leadership staff members.”
Because of their on-the-ground presence in so many countries, OM teams are often able to be first responders in times of crisis. During the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, OM teams quickly worked to distribute food packages, provide transportation from border areas, find temporary shelter options, and develop network systems that enable believers to help those in need.
In March 2022, Shaffer visited the bordering countries of Poland, Romania, and Moldova. Her team interviewed dozens of Ukrainians and OM workers to produce powerful videos about OM's relief efforts. These videos raise awareness about the plight of Ukrainian refugees and how OM is showing the love of Christ by meeting their needs. She also traveled to Ukraine in July to interview pastors and OM workers there.
“Many that we talked to described how they had seen the evangelical church become a place of refuge for others,” she said. “As people fled and arrived in new cities, they would be directed to the churches for help. It was beautiful to see and hear how God is at work in something so ugly as war.”
To make the Ukraine relief videos, Shaffer had to develop a broad communication plan for various video editors and writers. She attributed her current skills to Taylor’s academic preparation.
“I appreciated Taylor’s academic diversity,” she said. “I was exposed to a variety of art and media platforms, which I see playing out in my current role at OM. Because of my rich education in Creative Writing with a New Media (now Multimedia Journalism) focus, I can walk alongside my creatives and coach them.”
As a Taylor student, Shaffer completed an internship at another missions organization where she was a part of a creative multimedia team, giving her a closeup view of communicating those messages.
Shaffer was strongly influenced by Taylor’s dedication to serving the Lord. She learned that community can thrive despite great personal differences, something that she’s put into practice many times over the years at a multi-national workplace.
“Taylor’s focus on communal worship through shared chapel and campus Bible studies grew my faith from an individualistic view of Christianity to a ‘we-focused’ perspective,” Shaffer said. “Following Christ goes deeper than witnessing; it’s about making disciples as well.”
Shaffer encourages students who are interested in video or media storytelling to always be looking for new ways to share their message.
“Take an extra class just because you’re interested,” she said. “Foster ‘cross-pollination,’ or interdisciplinary studies. College should lead you to different career paths that require a diverse set of skills, and I think that Taylor prepares students for the next ‘steppingstone’ in serving God.”
Taylor University provides pathways to many different communication careers. Whether your goal is to be a graphic designer, an English teacher, or a technical writer, you will be equipped to carry out God’s ministry of reconciliation around the world. Start your journey now by scheduling a campus visit.
Taylor University’s English and Communication programs offer students an enriched education in literature and professional communication. English classes teach writing techniques and characteristics specific to genres of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Communication majors will become proficient at clear communication and target audience messaging. With a 95% or greater career placement rate, both the English and Communication Departments excel at creating connections between students and businesses across the country.