CMH Communications, San Francisco
Since beginning her career in Silicon Valley after her graduation in 1993, Catherine Malone Habas has witnessed the changing role of women in the field of technology. “At that time, few of my female clients were in the executive suite.”
She now counsels many women executives in technology companies. “Diversity, whether it be gender, ethnicity or age, is critical, because with it comes different life experiences.”
In her work for CMH Communications, a technology-focused public relations firm, Habas partners with companies to create brand identity and develop messages about software that are easily understood. From there, she may pitch a story to the business press, draft a speech for an executive, or establish a meaningful social media presence for a client.
In the spirit of the Sit With ME project, the Quarterly is showcasing several alumnae working in the industry. Coming from backgrounds that include a variety of majors and working in a wide range of jobs, from designing Navy destroyers to creating educational software, they illustrate the many opportunities available and the many paths into the field that a liberal arts education offers.
“Public relations encompasses many strategies, and during my 20 years in the field I have been part of the evolution from print to online and social media.”
At Wheaton, Habas majored in international relations with minors in economics and political science. She says her liberal arts education taught her to quickly grasp and digest complex content. “Software designed for business users can be difficult to comprehend, much like the challenging economics classes I took with [Professor of Economics] Gordon Weil,” she says.
Habas is also a big believer in internships. “I held three during my time at Wheaton, and each one allowed me to develop a skill set that I drew from during my early professional years.”
Her most memorable was interning at the office of the late Senator Edward Kennedy in Washington, D.C., during her junior year. “The best thing a college student can do is find work outside the classroom.”