• Sincerely, Southern

GS Grad Relives Short-Time Cashier Job

Joe Sikes graduated from Georgia Southern University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science degree in public relations. Sikes chose to pursue a public relations degree because he believed it fit his personality.

Almost a year after graduating, Sikes was hired by Canoochee EMC as a cashier after several attempts to get into the industry. His cashier job was short-lived as two days later he was offered a different position.

“I didn’t know this at the time, but they knew my degree, and they were really hiring me for communications specialist,” Sikes said. “They just didn’t tell me that at the time.”

As the communication specialist, Sikes is in charge of all external and internal communications as well as community outreach. He writes a monthly newsletter for approximately 15,000 members and creates press releases for the company. Canoochee EMC provides electric utility services to 10 counties, which puts Sikes in the position to be involved with a large community.

Social media has become a huge aspect of hisjob in keeping the company’s members updated.

“Doing Facebook live during outages and giving updates to membership, it’s kind of like our ownlittle TV station,” Sikes said.

Sikes encourages students to look into the utilities industry for possible careers. He has enjoyed his job for 15 years at Canoochee EMC, which has allowed him to reach his goals of positively impacting locals.

He currently runs “Operation Round-Up,” where members can round their bill sup to the nearest dollar to help other members in need.“It’s the best industry, and people are looking,” Sikes said. “They’re stable jobs. People always need electricity. The sky’s the limit on what you can do with the community reach.

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Sincerely, Southern is an experience for past, present and future students of Georgia Southern University. Created by Associate Professor of Multimedia Journalism Jennifer Kowalewski and designed by students in the department, the magazine is dedicated to the history of Georgia Southern's Communication Arts Department, as well as the alumni and staff who have made it what it is today.