End of my College Career

5 Dec

Well, its that time of the semester when everything is dwindling down and finals are here. For me, I only have one final exam and one paper left of my college career and then I’m done…forever. Or at least until I decide to go back to school for my masters. My experience interning with the School of Communication Studies was awesome and I had so much fun working with Margaret and Khalil. I have gained so much experience and learned so much about interviewing, writing for the media, and editing websites. I will use all those skills after I graduate in many different ways. Not only did I learn a lot from my internship but my whole experience being a Communication Major has really changed me intellectually. I have learned so many great communication and writing skills that I know I am prepared to work in the “real world” and get that “big girl job”.

046To be honest, I am kinda sad that I am leaving the School of Communication Studies because I have gained a lot of knowledge and friendships here. The faculty and staff are already asking me to come back and visit and to more freshman recruitment as an alumni which I am very excited about. I will always come back to the place that has changed me for the good and visit my friends and “school family” (I guess you could call it).

Even after I graduate, I will always recommend to anyone interested in going to college to pick a communication major because of all the opportunities it brings and the knowledge. Having a communications degree has definitely brought many opportunities my way and I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to have this major. This major has gotten me two internships as experience and a job before graduation, I seriously couldn’t be any happier.

Thank you to all the faculty, staff, and students for helping me get this far because without your help, I would not be where I am today. I wouldn’t be accomplishing my dream of graduating college, something I thought would never happen and its only a week away. Thank you all and I will definitely be back to visit all of you and even tell new students that are new to the major about my experience being a communication major and working at The School of Communication Studies.

Wrapping it Up

3 Dec

As Christmas break is just around the corner and everyone is scrambling to finish projects and cram for finals, I find that my internship has also come to an end. Today is my last day here as a Public Relations and Marketing Intern at the School of Communication Studies. My time here went so quickly… I feel like I was just at CommonSpot training the other day.  I learned a lot and I most definitely got something out of it. And I think that is what matters at the end of the day. If you didn’t learn or take anything out of the experience, it didn’t matter how many stories you wrote, how many people you interviewed, or how many projects you had. I learned a lot about my own personal writing style and my tendencies for wordiness. I learned how to condense and combine my thoughts to make a more concise story. I also learned how to take an interview and make it into a good news story. I think one of my favorite pieces of advice all semester was when my supervisor told me after an interview to let the quotes write the story. Before he told me that, I was just writing my story and inserting the quotes where I thought they were needed. But letting the quotes write the story allows for a more personal story and more relevant information.

But, I would have to say one of my favorite parts of this internship was getting the chance to interview professionals, as well as my peers.  Although I have been in settings where I have conducted informal interviews before, I had never been asked to interview professionals. My first interview was with Fifth Third Bank Vice President, Louise Gissendaner.  Although I was nervous at first, I think I got the hang of it and I really started to enjoy it. On the outside, interviewing seems like a list of questions and corresponding responses. But, I found that interviewing is a conversation that is guided not only by the questions, but by balanced discussion. This could mean slightly straying away from the questions if that’s where the conversation leads. But you have to find a focus and a balance so that you can still get the information you need. That was my favorite part of the internship and the part where I think I learned the most.

All in all, I really enjoyed my time here and I learned a lot of valuable skills.  I don’t know exactly what my future holds, but I do know that I graduate in about 5 months (eek) and I’m very excited and terrified.  I want to thank everyone that has helped me along the way, especially Khalil and Margaret for letting me be independent, while still teaching me a lot and helping me with all of my duties for this internship. I would also like to thank one of my professors, Suzy D’Enbeau, for giving me good advice to help me to figure out what’s best for me after college.  And to all you future COMM interns out there, good luck! You’ll have a blast and learn a lot. But remember, you only take out as much as you put in, so work hard! It will pay off!

Thanks for a great semester,

Shannon French

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 tasks, 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 of the findings that explain what employers look for in job candidates.  Most of the listed skills would 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.


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,


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


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.


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