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Jennifer Reel '96: A Liberal Arts Education at Work in the Private Sector

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Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2022

Jennifer Reel ’96 serves as the Corporate Communications Officer for First National Bank. She received a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and believes that her ability to succeed in different sectors is directly attributable to the liberal arts education she received at Westminster. Learn more about her experiences as a Westminster College donor, her experience at Westminster, and her life following graduation in her Q&A.

Tell me a little bit about yourself. What do you do for work and for fun?

I am the Corporate Communications Officer for First National Bank and its parent company, F.N.B. Corporation. The Communications field brings something new and different every day, from crisis communications to mergers to media requests to employee communications. Outside of work, my husband (also a Westminster alumnus) and I like to go to antique shows and antique stores looking for old advertising signs and other treasures.

Why is it important to you to give back to Westminster?

I think it’s important to support those who supported you. The Westminster experience shapes who people are, and giving back gives others the opportunity to share in the same experiences that will prepare them for future success. Now that I’m older, I understand just how many people made it possible for me to go to Westminster—named and unnamed. I want to be a part of sharing that with others. Whether it’s giving back for scholarships, facilities upkeep or making new technology/classes available to keep up with the changing world, it truly does take many people working together to make a difference.

How do you think a liberal arts experience at Westminster College sets people apart?

A liberal arts education at Westminster College introduces people to experiences they might not have necessarily been exposed to before. I’ve been lucky to have a varied background that has enabled me to use my skills and abilities to hold various positions and accomplish many goals throughout my career. For example, my education prepared me for a career in teaching, but when my career path changed, I was equally prepared (thanks to those transferrable skills) to enter the business world focusing on Marketing (concentration in arts) and eventually use my leadership skills as CCO in the Corporate Communications field.

What stands out to you most about your experience at Westminster?

I value my time at Westminster. The flexibility of commuting allowed me the ability to work while attending classes. The personal attention of the professors and flexibility was ideal for my situation. I could choose to be as involved as I wanted to be. Westminster also gave me the valuable experience and opportunity to travel and present with other working professionals prior to graduating.

Being a communications expert, what’s your advice for Titans looking to communicate more effectively?

All communications should start with knowing your audience and being able to communicate your message clearly and effectively. That includes taking a complex topic and boiling it down so that you are reaching a broad base of readers. Communications should be thoughtful, professional and grammatically correct. There is a time and place for informal communications/texts/social media, but you don’t want your message to get lost in translation or increase the likelihood of misunderstanding.

What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned after college?

Be flexible and open to new ideas and possibilities. Be prepared. You never know where your education will take you. Rely on and be confident in your skills, abilities and talents.