Helane Becker ’79 got a little bit of everything out of her time at Montclair State College. As a full-time resident of the campus, she was involved with everything from judging a male beauty pageant to playing catcher in the annual Student Government/Montclarion staff softball game to overseeing a half-million dollar budget for student organizations, all while working part-time and crafting her own program of study.
The Broadcasting program was what drew Becker to Montclair State College. She knew she wanted to seek a business-oriented career within the broadcasting field, but didn’t want to commit herself to purely business study, so she chose to major in Speech and Theater. She supplemented this major with classes from all disciplines, including English, Business and Foreign Languages. She did what she wanted to do, and credits professors Howard Travis and Christopher Stasheff with supporting her and providing her with the skills necessary for her to succeed.
A great education in broadcasting wasn’t her only reason to choose Montclair State. As the first in her family to attend college, Becker found herself among a large group of peers at Montclair. It offered a reasonably priced education and she was able to graduate with little debt. Above all, Montclair State boasted a great location. For Becker, it was far enough from home to build independence yet close enough to get home easily. For her and countless other students, the proximity to New York City offered a crucial benefit for building professional experience.
As an undergraduate, Becker interned and attended classes in New York. She was able to learn first-hand how the broadcast industry works and meet with potential colleagues and employers in the field. She also learned how to project a good presence. As someone who often gives television interviews and leads those she works with, Becker’s ability to speak well has been an invaluable skill in her career. She’s taken classes on how to project without shouting, speak without a regional accent and embrace silence as part of a conversation rather than filling it with non-word verbalizations.
Now, as the Director at Dahlman Rose & Co., Becker follows the aviation industry. She is the only female senior analyst at her firm, yet doesn’t consider herself a pioneer. Rather, she sees herself as a motivated worker who has successfully identified what she wants and built her career.