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Alum Spotlight

Jessica Davila-Burnett

  • 2005, B.A., Psychology of Organizational Development
  • 2006, M.A.A., Organizational Development

Jessica was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas. She received her Associates Degree from Del Mar College and her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from UIW's School of Professional Studies (formerly ADCaP) in Corpus Christi. She served on the UIW Alumni Association Board of Directors 2015-2018 and was awarded the 2015 UIW Alumna of Distinction for Service in Mission Award.

Jessica is the Owner/Principle Communications Strategist and Certified Executive Coach at JDB Public Relations. She is a graduate Leadership Texas (Leadership Women), Leadership Corpus Christi (United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce) and Leadership San Antonio (San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce). She personifies the Incarnate Word Mission on a daily basis and frequently travels to serve on missionary trips, including Mexico, Nicaragua and her favorite - Ukraine.

Jessica is currently studying Russian to better engage with the people of Ukraine. She enjoys spending her time with her husband, daughters, and her cats. Her favorite hobby is managing her somewhat-famous cat’s Instagram account @JuniorPopCat

  1. Why did you choose to pursue your degree at UIW? Why The School of Professional Studies?
    SPS was relatively new when I started the program, it was only in its first few years in Corpus Christi. After I graduated with my Associates Degree from Del Mar College, I was searching for a program that would accommodate my work schedule and my family’s schedule. SPS provided me with an opportunity to complete my undergraduate degree without compromising my work or family time, and it allowed me to complete my degree within two years as the courses were accelerated. I was working full-time as the Director of Volunteer Services for Driscoll Children’s Hospital and SPS was designed for people just like me - working professionals who wanted to obtain their degree. My fellow classmates were all professionals and were working full-time, and they too were seeking the same experience I was searching for in an undergraduate program – flexibility, opportunity and career advancement through higher education. I loved my experience at UIW’s satellite campus in Corpus Christi and the experience I had on the main campus for my graduation and now my volunteer service. I created a bond with my classmates, UIW staff and with my professors, and made lifelong connections and meaningful relationships.
  2. How did you juggle school, work, family etc?
    I was able to manage a healthy work/life balance through SPS because my classes were offered in the evenings and at an accelerated pace. SPS is for serious students who are serious about earning their degree. Like everything else, I had to budget and prioritize my time after work to manage my family and my studies. Thankfully, I received support from my family and friends. If I had a major project due or an exam, my parents and my husband took on a bigger load with the kids. In the end, going to school, working fulltime and raising a family developed me into the person I am today - I have a  “Bring It On!” philosophy.
  3. What advice would you give to a prospect/new student on how to make the most of the program?
    As a student in a professional studies program like SPS, I’d advise to make connections with your classmates and your instructors. Embrace every challenge and stretch yourself. I would also recommend to keep up the routine by pursuing a graduate degree while you are still in the work and study mode after you’ve completed your undergraduate degree. I was already in a solid routine of balancing work, school and family so I leveraged my “UIW” schedule and went on to complete my Master's degree in 15 months at SPS.
  4. How has your degree helped you in your career?
    After graduating with my Bachelor's degree, I was able to apply for the positions I wanted that required a four-year degree. I knew I wanted to work corporate and as I advanced in my education, I was able to narrow down the competition and get the jobs I wanted to grow in my field. Now, I own my public relations firm. I’m proud to have earned both my undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of the Incarnate Word. Today, I am able to volunteer on campus and serve as a mentor to the current UIW students. My door is always open and I am just a phone call away to any UIW student that needs a mentor or some coaching.
  5. What are your current career goals/plans?
    My current career goal is to continue building my communications and executive coaching business by offering my clients the best communications strategies for their brands and executive coaching for their teams.