Kylie Tanner

College is a great time to explore an array of different career paths. And that’s exactly what Kylie Tanner did during her time at UVU. Though she didn’t really know what she wanted to do, she planned to pursue a dental hygiene degree so that she could finish school quickly and get a job. However, her plans soon changed.

“I was super involved in high school, but I had decided to take a step back during college,” said Tanner. “But that wasn’t who I was, and I realized that I really wanted to take advantage of everything UVU had to offer. I ended up taking a public speaking class, and I decided that day to change my major to communication.”

Apart from her communication courses, Tanner says that she had some amazing opportunities, including serving as the vice president over clubs and organizations within the UVU student government. Her No. 1 recommendation to current students would be to get involved. “Do things that you enjoy because that helps you figure out what you want to do with your career. I had no clue what I wanted to do [after graduation], but because I was involved, one thing kind of led to another and helped me get to where I am today.”

After graduation, Tanner decided to stay at UVU and was hired as the assistant clubs coordinator. She worked full time at UVU for several months until she got the opportunity to lead grassroots efforts across the state of Utah for Mitt Romney’s senatorial campaign.

“It was super exciting for me to meet so many people and so many students who were passionate about helping him get elected and just wanting to get involved civically,” Tanner said. “I loved that every day was different; some days I was at my desk, but some days I was out with the interns putting up signs! It was a really awesome opportunity that I will always cherish.”

This exciting venture was the perfect opportunity for Tanner to use the skills she’d learned earning her communication degree. “My communication degree taught me how to communicate with people,” said Tanner. “And I know that sounds silly and obvious, but I've learned there are so many people who really don't have those skills or really know how to interact with people. At UVU, we learned how to talk to high-level donors and how to talk to just any old student and everyone in between, learning how to find common ground with someone.”

After Romney won his seat in the U.S. Senate, Tanner and her husband decided to move to Washington, D.C., where she continues to work for Senator Romney as his administrative assistant.

“[My communication degree] really led me to where I am today,” Tanner said. “My major was very versatile. It didn’t just fill one box like it would have done if I was a dental hygienist — you know, I get my degree in dental hygiene and what do I do? I become a dental hygienist. But with communication, I felt like the possibilities are endless. Even if I decide to change careers at any time in my life, I’ll have the skills that I need to do anything that I would like.”