The Job Market: The Importance of Experience

18 Nov

I was reading an interesting article today entitled “It Takes More than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success: Overview and Key Findings.” I will highlight a few of their findings, but first, I would like to reflect upon this idea that “it takes more than a major” to succeed in the workplace. Although I do think that classes and traditional education is necessary and very important, I think that experience is just as important as a degree. And I don’t just mean related experience. I have been working since I was 16 and I learned a lot of critical skills during that time. Even though my first few jobs were just lifeguarding positions, I learned responsibility, problem-solving, leadership, and communication. I was not only held responsible for being on time to my shifts and completing assigned duties, I was responsible for people’s lives. I realized that this is a very big responsibility, especially when I had my first rescue. Then after learning these skills and taking on leadership roles, I was promoted to Aquatics Supervisor. Learning how to lead effectively is an essential skill in the workforce. In short, these jobs that were not related to my major still gave me great experience and helped me to build my skills and resume.

One Step AheadBut, I also did acquire jobs that were related to my field, such as this internship and my internship over the summer, where I was a Marketing and Communications intern at YWCA Greater Cleveland. In these internships, I did many valuable real-world things, such writing news stories, interviewing, designing brochures and pamphlets, assisting in the creation of a social media strategy plan, taking photos at events, increasing social media reach, blogging, and more. I think that these experiences are priceless for a future job.

In the article that I mentioned earlier, it said that skills that enable college graduates to contribute to innovation in the workplace is essential. These skills likely come from previous real-world jobs and experience. Below are some key features that employers look for in job candidates and most of these skills would most likely come from experience:

  • Nearly all those surveyed (93 percent) say that “a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than [a candidate’s] undergraduate major.”
  • More than 9 in 10 of those surveyed say it is important that those they hire demonstrate ethical judgment and integrity; intercultural skills; and the capacity for continued new learning.
  • More than 75% of employers say they want more emphasis on 5 key areas including: critical thinking, complex problem-solving, written and oral communication, and applied knowledge in real-world settings.

(https://www.aacu.org/leap/presidentstrust/compact/2013SurveySummary)

Although a formal education and a college degree are very important for a career, learning in a classroom about theories and definitions can only get you so far. Although it is possible to excel in the workforce without experience, I feel that the transition would be much, much easier with experience under your belt.

Thanks for reading,

Shannon

Source: It Takes More than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success. 2013. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities and Hart Research Associates.

Communication Majors interested in getting involved with the Student Government?

14 Nov

As a Communication Studies major, the options of how you can get involved on campus is endless. You don’t have to have a certain major to get involved in different student organizations. For example, Megan Carrasco is a junior Applied Communications major with minors in both Spanish and Public Relations, she also just got accepted by the USG (Undergraduate Student Government) to be the Senator at large. Carrasco also serves as the president of the Body Acceptance Movement, the vice president of Membership Education for PanHellenic council, and a member of Delta Gamma Sorority. As you can see, Carrasco is very involved on campus as an applied communications major. “I am ecstatic. I am really ready to start serving a larger body of students.” Carrasco said when expressing her feelings about accepting the new pIMG_5069osition.

USG is a student government that provides services to the Kent State community such as judicial advocates, conference and program grants, voter registration and information drives, concerts and comedy shows, free blue books, bike rentals, and great opportunities for involvement on campus. “We are the voices for the student body. We are here to represent the interest of every student and make their experience at Kent State the best it can be.” Carrasco said.

As a senator, Carrasco serves five office hours per week on the first floor of the student center but she also spends a lot of her time in the Kent State community. Carrasco has to attend events and meet students on campus because she is the person who represents the student body.

One main accomplishment that Carrasco would like to achieve as Senator is to focus on the international students and to understand their experience here at Kent State. “I want to know how I can make it better and what I can do to make them feel as welcome as anyone else.” Carrasco said.

Even though Carrasco is involved in the student government, she uses communication skills every day, “I am always talking to people. All day I explain what USG does and how we can impact the student experience. I have to communicate with the team as a whole and with the general student body as well.” Carrasco said.

Carrasco is a great example for all students, especially communication majors because she represents the School of Communication Studies showing the students that you can literally do anything with a communications degree.

Being a part of USG is a great opportunity for all students to get involved on campus no matter what your major is and Carrasco is making wonderful changes around campus. In five years Carrasco sees herself finishing her master’s degree and doing something she is passionate about, “I am a public servant at heart.”

KCS Shirt Sale!

6 Nov

KCS T-Shirt Sale 2014Kent Communication Society (KCS) is selling t-shirts with a portion of proceeds supporting Relay for Life. Shirts are on sale now through Nov. 19. Shirts are $15 each and $3 of each sale will go towards KCS Relay for Life team. “Every year KCS has a goal to raise at least $2,000 for Relay for Life. Each shirt sale gets us one step closer to that goal,” President, Kara Curry, said.

Anyone can purchase shirts during KCS meetings held every Wednesday from 5-5:30 p.m. in Taylor Hall room 146. Flyers are posted in Taylor hall and are located in the Communication Studies office, room 135. Submit a completed form and payment to Kelly Schobinger in the main office.

Credit card or debit card orders will be accepted during the KCS meetings. Shirts will be available for pick up before the end of the fall semester.

The shirts are grey and long sleeved and the front is designed with telephone poles that spell out “Kent State University School of Communication Studies” in the wiring. The back of the shirt displays a logo to “Stay Connected” with social media information printed along the bottom.

Questions can be directed to KCS President of KCS, Kara Curry, (kcurry7@kent.edu) or Dr. Rozell Duncan (rduncan@kent.edu).

Hillary Walker, School of Communications Marketing and PR Intern

Interviewing

29 Oct

Before this internship, I was not very experienced with the interviewing process. I had given amateur interviews before, for classes and for my band fraternity, but I had never given a professional, real-life interview. I was first presented this opportunity when I was asked to interview  the Fifth Third Bank Vice President, Louise Gissendaner. I admit, my first draft of interview questions was not excellent. But with some help, I was able to rearrange the questions, take out unnecessary questions, and add questions that were more relevant to the interview subject. I interviewed her about her acceptance of The Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Communication Studies at Homecoming.  It was a phone interview and I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t a bit nervous at first. But as I called her and we got to talking, I realized that I actually really liked interviewing and it wasn’t so hard. My final draft of interview questions led to a conversation that flowed together and made for a very smooth, connected, and relevant interview.

After this interview, I also learned how to correctly write a news story. Although I knew the basics of news writing, it really helped to have my rough draft edited and reordered to be more fit to publish. I learned how to order paragraphs in order of importance, combine quotes, take out unnecessary information, use the correct writing format, blend information together to be less wordy, and more. After my first interview and news story, I felt much more educated and prepared for the next one!

The next two interviews I conducted were with the Ryan Seacrest contest winner and Comm Studies student, Marina Strah, and with the new Undergraduate Coordinator, Catherine Goodall. I felt that these interviews also went well and I’m confident in saying that I enjoy interviewing! My article about Marina had some kinks at first, but was much improved from the last. I’m sure that my current article about Catherine Goodall will be even better. I’m excited to keep improving my interviewing and writing skills and I’m glad for all of these opportunities that have been given to me!

Thanks for reading,

Shannon French

Freshman Recruitment

17 Oct

Today was the first day of Freshman Recruitment of this semester and let me tell you, I had SO much fun. I usually do Freshman recruitment every semester but this semester was different because The School of Communication Studies had moreDSC00248 freebies and fun hand-outs to give to all the high school students. We also have a new student that does presentations to the high school seniors for The Communication studies, Rachael Morrell. Rachael did an amazing job presenting to the students, she explained to them what Communication Studies is, what you can do with the major, the different concentrations of Communications, and the potential jobs you can get after graduation. It was a lot of fun informing students about Communication Studies major, we love what we do here in Taylor Hall and we want to let new freshman know what all they can do with a major not to many people know about. DSC00269

Communication Studies is one of the top degrees that employers are looking for because you can learn a wide variety of skills here, it combines three schools (JMC, VCD, and COMM) in one degree and that’s what we want new incoming freshman to understand. Not too many high-schoolers know about Communication Studies and it’s our job to explain to them all the fun and exciting opportunities that you can do with the major. We did have many DSC00271students that were interested in our major and we welcome all students to Communication Studies because like I said, we LOVE what we do here in The School of Communications and we want to make all new incoming students love it as well.

My experience today was so much fun, I am graduating from Kent State in seven weeks and this is what I’m going to miss the most, telling people how much I love my major and all the wonderful opportunities it has brought me. Even though I am graduating this DSC00262semester, I would always come back to help out Dr. Trebing in freshman recruitment because I really think more students need to know about the major and what Comm studies offers. There are only a couple events left of Freshman Recruitment during this fall semester and I am going to try my best to recruit as many high school students as possible in that time. The greatest part about freshman recruitment is meeting new people and being able to Market and promote what I love to do.

Re-Cap of KCS meeting

3 Oct

On October 1, KCS had a meeting to discuss upcoming events and volunteer opportunities. If you missed out, here is a brief overview of what we talked about. We are currently planning our first “social” which everyone liked the idea of going to a pumpkin patch, the KCS officers sent out a survey via email to see who was all going to attend and what day/time would be good for everyone to participate. Check your email for the survey, remember, you get points for attending the social!

We broke up into groups that we recently signed up for like, Homecoming, fundraising, social and volunteer, and PR and KCS flyerAdvertising and discussed what we are going to be working on in the next week. If you haven’t got a chance to sign up for a committee, email one of the officers to get signed up!

Homecoming is KCS’s big event coming up, we are trying to get participants to help out with the reception and the homecoming day parade. If you want to sign up for either, let President Kara Curry, know within the next week via email (kcurry7@kent.edu) We need people to help so come out, have fun, and meet some new people!

The fundraising committee talked about picking a style for t-shirts and hoodies, come to the next meeting to hear about the design ideas! If you have any ideas for hoodies/t shirts, contact Evan Branzel, Treasurer, via email. The PR & Advertising committee discussed some design ideas for flyers for homecoming to promote KCS and flyers to put up in Taylor Hall. We are going to be going over these ideas in the next meeting.

The next KCS meeting will be on October 8 in Taylor Hall room 146. Remember, there is free pizza and refreshments for everyone who comes to the meeting! Fees are also due at the next meeting, $5 for the semester and $10 for the whole year. Make sure you give your fees to Evan Branzel!

Popular Question among Kent State Students: What Can You Do with a Communications Degree?

30 Sep

As I was sitting in class today, I heard another student say that they don’t know what to do with their major in Applied communications and they are quite confused. Which leads me to writing this blog post because it’s very important that ALL communication majors should know what to do with their major before they graduate.

What to do with a Communications degreeSo my question is, what can you NOT do with a communications degree? In Communication studies, learn you how to do so much within the school itself. You can take VCD, JMC, and COMM classes to get the full experience. That’s basically combining three schools into one major. So if you really think about it, you can do SO much with a communications degree. Communication Studies majors is one of the top most wanted degrees that employers are looking for. Mainly because in Communications, you learn how to write and do speeches professionally, you learn how to work and collaborate in groups and teams, and you learn how to communicate effectively between people and in the work environment. Communication is important in the world today especially within the work place. You need to know how to communicate with your friends, family, and employees to get by on a day to day basis. You not only need to learn how to communicate between people, but you also need to learn how to understand people as well.

So let me ask you again, what can you do with a Communications Degree? Well what do you want to do? If you like Marketing, then go ahead and take some marketing classes, look for a marketing internship to gain experience, and then when you graduate, or even before, you can start looking for jobs within Marketing. Say if you want to be in Advertising, or Human Resources, or a Teacher, you can take specific classes within the three schools to learn that specific skill set. Communication studies also have six concentrations, including, Health, Organizational, Public, Interpersonal, Global, and Applied Communication. Within those concentrations, think of how long the list goes on and on with all the jobs you can do! If you want to work in a hospital or in Public Health, be a Health Concentration. If you want to be in Human Resources, you should choose Organizational Concentration and if you want to be a teacher, you can choose an Interpersonal Concentration. I could keep going and going, explaining to you all the different potential jobs that you could get with a Communications major.

The only thing you need to do when you’re in an interview for your “Dream job” is think of how you will stick out from the rest. You’re in an interview for a Marketing Assistant position and there is a person there that is competing with you and he/she is a Marketing major but your a Communications major, make yourself stand out, have confidence in yourself! You’ve taken classes on interviewing, marketing, organizational communication so you have just as much experience, if not more, as the other person. But being a communication major, you learn how to communicate and how to do it WELL! So you should know how to ACE the interview and get that Dream Job you worked so hard for!

So stop sitting around and wasting your time wondering what you’re going to do with your major because like I said, the job list goes on and on and it’s what YOU want to do and YOU have to have the communication skills and the confidence! So go out and get your dream job, you Communications Major!

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