The Interns: A New Beginning

Hello everyone! As we welcome the new school year, we also welcome the world of new possibilities. Each year, the School of Communication Studies brings on interns to help out in the various departments of the school. The Marketing & Public Relations department had spots open and we took them! There are four interns this year – check out our bios below!

Jowan M. Cole – nickname: “Jay”

Hey! I am Jowan – a current senior in the communication studies program, with a concentration in the applied communication track and minors in marketing and global communication. I have an immense interest in art, travel, and the world – which means I am interested in pretty much all things culture! Marketing and brand identity have been amazing professional interests of mine, hence the marketing minor and internship. With that said, I also currently work with The INDI Group, LLC., a really cool branding and artist management start-up founded by another communication studies student. After graduation, I plan to move to the United Kingdom for graduate school to study communication management

My blog posts will likely consist of: international students, culture in communication studies, social media etiquette and maybe interviews with the faculty. Hope you like it!

Katelyn M. Braunegg – nickname: “Kate”

Hi everyone!

I am Katelyn, or “Kate” for short. I am a senior communication studies major with a concentration in interpersonal communication and two additional minors in public relations, and organizational communication. I plan to graduate in May and move on into the real world. (scary) I really enjoy social media, reality television,  traveling, dancing and anything related to entertainment! My two favorite things to do in my free time are drink coffee and have genuine conversations with others. (hence the interpersonal communications major)

I currently teach dance to young students in Hudson, Ohio and hope to continue after graduation. Dance has been my passion since I was three and one of my personal goals would be to represent the Cleveland Cavalier’s as a Cavs dancer one day.

I am going to blog about a few different topics including social media do’s and don’ts, how to sell a communication studies degree in an interview and how face to face communication is more beneficial than computer mediated communication.

Hope you enjoy!
xoxo, Kate

Vincent Siciliano – nickname: “Vince”

Vincent Siciliano is a final semester senior communication major interning for the School of Communication Studies in Taylor Hall. He has been a cosmetologist for six years and a communication studies major since 2013. In his free time, Vincent likes international travel, electronic music production (house and techno), cooking, interacting with other humans and hanging out in his Ohio City neighborhood.

He is president of the Kent State University chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, which is the School of Communication Studies honors organization. With the organization he plans to do some philanthropic work leading up to the holiday season.

After graduation, Vincent will attend graduate school for a dual MBA/MA in communication studies, which he is convinced is the best way to have the flexibility to work in either the private sector or at a university.

Contact Vincent about getting involved with Lambda Pi Eta at

The End… For Now

Hello readers!

Thursday was my last day as an intern for the School of Communication Studies.
I have greatly enjoyed my time here, and I’m looking forward to having classes in Taylor Hall this fall!

As August 31 marks my last first day of school, I wanted to write a little bit about why I chose Comm Studies and my feelings about finishing – both this internship and my degree as a whole!
When I was in high school, I loved the idea of being a photographer. I love taking pictures and capturing the beauty around me. Then I looked into what it took to get a degree in photography and how much work it is, and said “No, thank you!”
This left me with no clue what I wanted to do when I got to the university level.

When I was a senior, I took a College and Career Exploration class, and one of our assignments was to shadow someone whose job we thought would be interesting. I chose to shadow a family friend who was the Marketing Director at Kent State Stark at the time. I went into her office not really knowing what to expect, and left thinking “I want to do that!”

I asked her what kind of degree it would take to get a job like hers. She told me she had majored in marketing when she went to school, but recommended the applied concentration within communication studies. She gave me a little bit more information about the major and invited me to come back to the Kent State Stark campus the next week for a “Comm Day.” I met Dr. Duncan that day, and while she probably doesn’t remember that, I definitely do! I felt extremely welcomed and excited about pursuing a degree in communication studies.

I went into my freshman year of college with applied communication as my declared major, and it has been applied communication ever since! Being a part of the School of Communication Studies has given me many opportunities to be part of something valuable and lasting. During my junior year, I was given the opportunity to be the vice president of the Kent Communication Society (KCS), which gave me some insight into what it is like to lead in an organizational setting. As the VP of KCS, I was in charge of organizing what KCS did for Homecoming, which was challenging and eye-opening in a couple of different ways. First, I realized how challenging it is to get people involved, and secondly, how much work it actually takes to put an event together!

Ashley, Me and Kara before the Homecoming Parade (Kent State Pride is Worldwide – #KentHC2014)

If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts, you will probably know that I also had the opportunity to study abroad during my junior year which was absolutely incredible. If you have the chance to study abroad, take it. You can read a little bit more about that here!

And that brings me to where I am today: the rare student who started out as a Communication Studies major and is finishing as a Communication Studies major. I also decided to minor in Photo Illustration, so my high school self’s dream of becoming a photographer wasn’t just a pipe dream!

This internship has given me the opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes at the School of Communication Studies. I have also had the chance to meet some wonderful people, as well as interview new faculty and staff. I think my writing skills have improved, and I gained experience managing social media accounts and editing and maintaining the school’s website. This experience has also given me a little bit of insight into what I want to do and what I don’t want to do in the future, which is exactly what experiences like this are for!

I feel that I can confidently go forward to my last semester as a student with a handful of necessary tools that I learned here at Kent State University. I think those tools are what will help me succeed when I enter the world that awaits after graduation in December.

I hope this gives you a bit of a glimpse into my experience at Kent State.
Thanks for reading, and maybe I’ll see you around Taylor Hall this fall!

In my natural habitat – messy desk, Starbucks cup and all!

Got Skills?

Hello readers!

As an intern or employee (for the School of Communication Studies and elsewhere), you have to have a certain set of skills. But don’t fear! Even if you don’t have these skills right now, they are things that can be learned and improved.

1. Organization / Time Management
Being organized is a crucial part of any kind of internship. Most likely, you will be working on multiple projects at the same time and those projects will have due dates. Being able to stay on top of what you are working on is so important when it comes to being successful in the workplace.
Personally, I like to use lists to keep myself organized. Being able to check things off helps me see the progress I am making and keeps me motivated.

2. Social Media
You might think “Oh yeah! I definitely have this in the bag! I post to social media all the time!” and you probably do! It just takes a slightly different mindset when it comes to doing social media for a company or business. While it still might be a reflection of the daily workings and activities of an office, it will probably look different from your personal social media feed. Corporate social media has a different target audience: their customer and consumer. You always have to keep that in mind when creating content for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and maybe even Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr or even Snapchat! (I’m lookin’ at you, Taco Bell!)

I post on the School of Communication Studies Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram (don’t forget to follow us – sometimes we post different things to different places!). Usually those posts promote something rather than just giving an update of what the school is doing or feeling at that particular moment in time (although sometimes they do that too). Posts can be anything from a student success story that has just been posted on the communication studies website to a #ThrowbackThursday picture, but no matter what the post is, it’s always exciting to see likes, comments and shares on things that I post!

3. Interpersonal Communication
Verbal and interpersonal communication are always among the top skills that employers look for. I’ve never taken a class in interpersonal communication, but I believe that communicating well with the people around you is a super important skill. I’ve discovered that sometimes people say something expecting you to know what it means (especially if it includes jargon used in your specific workplace). Don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially if you are not sure what exactly is going on. Most of the time, your supervisor and co-workers will be more than willing to help you out and make sure you know what’s happening!
I try to consistently check in with my supervisors to make sure that I am on track with projects and to make sure I am not missing anything.

4. Writing
While this is not necessarily in the “Top Skills Employers Want from Recent Graduates,” I do quite a bit of writing: from this blog, to stories about faculty and staff, to writing content for the bulletin boards in Taylor Hall; there’s a lot of writing. Taking classes like Business and Professional Writing (ENG 30063), Fundamentals of Media Messages (JMC 20005) and Organizational Communication (COMM 35864) have helped me become a better writer. If you need to know one thing about writing in the workplace it is this: be concise. Employers don’t have spare time to read lengthy reports when a couple paragraphs or a few sentences would have gotten the job done just as well. On that note, I will end this blog post here.

Thanks for reading, and check back tomorrow for my final post with my thoughts on my time at Kent State and my time as the School of Communication Studies PR and Marketing Intern!

– Abby

P.S. Here are a couple of links to some interesting stories that I found while doing research for this post!
10 Benefits of Social Media for Business – Hootsuite 
Graduates With Soft Skills Will Become Increasingly Important – Forbes 
Are Recent Grads Prepared for the Workplace? – Forbes 

Communication Classes: What You Want to Know, Part 2

Hey! Thanks for coming back to check out part two!
Have you ever wondered what “Senior Seminar” is or what the difference between a practicum and an internship is? Yes? Then this post is for you!

Senior Seminar – COMM 46091

Senior seminar is a course that all concentrations within communication studies (excluding applied) are required to take. This course will focus on preparing you for graduation and life in the “real world” of searching for, finding and working at your first job out of college.

As I have not taken and will not take Senior Seminar, I thought I’d ask an alumni who had taken the class to give some of his thoughts on “Senior Sem”

Kyle Hovest, 2014 interpersonal communication graduate:

“Senior Seminar is a cultivating experience of your time in the School of Communication Studies at Kent State University. You work on strengthening skills that will allow you to find and succeed in a job in the Communication field of work. The class is a way for you to “wrap up” your studies and to be able to speak and write about your present and future in Communication Studies.

The projects were practical in the sense that you would be able to use them in your future work. Whether it was preparing your resume for job fairs and interviews or creating an online portfolio to better market yourself in the Communications field, the projects allowed you to purposely reflect on your time at Kent State University and where you saw your future headed.

I feel like Senior Seminar was one of the few classes that you can say truly tries to prepare you for the “real world.” The projects were very big, so they required strong time management.

I enjoyed being able to work on an online portfolio, interview professionals in my field of work and learn how to represent myself to employers in the future.

My advice to someone about to take this class, would be to make the most out of it. I know that Communication Studies can sometimes have a stigma of not being “the most useful” degree to get in college. However, if you are seriously about using the degree as well as focusing on your person concentration in Communication Studies, you can really benefit from this course. The professors who teach it really want you to use the degree to your benefit and to find a job that fits your wants.”

Internship vs. Practicum

I think one of the best ways to describe the difference between an internship and a practicum is that most practicums are internships, but not all internships are practicums.

Any communication studies student with junior standing who has gotten a C or better in Foundations of Communication (COMM 20000) and has a cumulative GPA of 2.000 or better can do an internship for credit. Doing an internship requires 130 contact hours for every 3 credit hours and can be repeated for up to 6 credit hours. These credit hours cannot replace a required class.  The Internship requires students to keep a log of their work hours, a journal of their activities and a 10-12 page paper designed to discuss theory in practice.

Practicum is a requirement for applied concentrations, that consists of 150 work hours worth 3 credit hours. A practicum is like an internship; for instance, I’m doing this internship with the School of Communication Studies to fulfill my practicum requirement. The Practicum requires students to build a portfolio of work, in addition to completing the duties of the position. Positions for Practicum should include some aspects of design, communication, and writing.

To read more about Communication Internships and Practicums go to

If you have questions about other classes, or want more in-depth information on one of these classes, don’t hesitate to contact the School of Communication Studies – see the contact page for more information!

Thanks for reading, and check back next week for a new post!

Communication Classes: What You Want to Know, Part 1

If you are anything like me when it comes to scheduling your classes, you will want to know a little bit about the classes you are registering for. Below are some of the classes that are most frequently asked about and some information about them!

Introduction to Human Communication – COMM 15000

Introduction to Human Communication, more commonly referred to as 15K or COMM 15000, is most people’s first introduction to the world of Communication Studies. Intro to Human Comm is an introduction to public speaking and effective communication. If you take an in-person section of the class, you can expect to go to class twice a week, as well as completing an hour or so of online work per week.

Grades are largely based on weekly quizzes, an online midterm, and online final and three speeches: an informative speech, a persuasive speech and a group presentation.

While this is a lecture class, class sizes are generally smaller and you can expect to participate a lot. Later in the semester, you and your classmates will be giving speeches, which you will be expected to listen to and give feedback on.

Foundations of Communication – COMM 20000

Foundations of Communication is an introduction to the communication studies major.  This class has no prerequisites and anyone can take it to learn more about the concentrations offered within communication studies. This is a great class to take if you think you might be interested in communication studies, but are not completely sure if it is for you.

What do you do in this class? Read faculty produced research, present on an article of your choice, and research how a communication studies major would be appropriate for your career path.

Communication studies requires declared majors to complete a grammar competency requirement within the first 20 credit hours of the major. Foundations of Communication provides an opportunity to complete this requirement through a test. If the grammar competency requirement is not met in COMM 20000, students are required to take COMM 21000 and achieve a C or better in order to continue in the major.

Communication Grammar Review – COMM 21000

Communication Grammar Review is a five week online course that covers grammar, punctuation, word usage and style in the context of communication fields. The Communication Grammar Review class is often looked upon as a “difficult class” because it is so short and requires quite a bit of attention during those five weeks. Students must keep on top of their work in order to do well in the class. Grades are based on 12 quizzes and a final, with two to three quizzes per week.

In order to receive credit as a JMC or COMM student, you must earn a C or better.

Check back on Tuesday to find out more about Senior Seminar and what the difference between a Practicum and an Internship!

Thanks for reading,

Me and my sister, Hannah, in front of the Louvre

The Employability Factor: Study Abroad

“Did you actually learn anything while you were over there?”

A question I got a lot when I got back from studying abroad in Leicester, England this spring. My answer is an emphatic “YES!” lists the top ten skills that employers are looking for in recent college graduates. I took a look at that list, and realized that studying abroad helped me learn more about half of the skills on the list.

  1. Ability to work in a team

I traveled around Europe with a couple of friends during our spring break (or Easter Holiday as the Brits would say!), and we had to work as a team to get to where we needed to be (without missing trains, planes or automobiles [busses]).

In a couple of my classes, there were smaller group discussions, and we had to collaborate as a group to come up with answers to questions and then present to the class. Things like this are great practice for future teamwork in the workplace.

  1. Ability to make decisions and solve problems

Studying abroad requires you to make decisions and solve problems.  These might not be the same kind of decisions or problems that you’ll have when you’re in the work force, but the skill remains the same. Many times, especially while traveling, there will be delays or interruptions that make sure you problem solve quickly and effectively.

  1. Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work

Planning, organizing and prioritizing is key, whether it’s a different school system or traveling around Europe.  The school system in the UK is extremely different from the US.  I learned that I’m not very good at planning ahead and prioritizing (although my organization skills are spot on), but now I know that that’s something I need to improve in the future. Being organized and planning ahead while studying abroad is crucial.

  1. Ability to communicate verbally with people inside and outside an organization

The ability to communicate verbally with people inside and outside an organization is also something that is required when studying abroad.  In order to begin the process of studying abroad, one needs to be able to communicate with key people within the university, as well as people at the university you will be visiting. While studying abroad, I frequently had to communicate with professors and staff at the University of Leicester – going into office hours and offices to have things I did not understand explained to me and questions I had answered.

  1. Ability to obtain and process information

Being able to obtain and process information is an important skill when studying abroad because not everything is handed to you on a silver platter (or just handed to you for that matter!). I can’t tell you the number of times I had to find information for myself, whether that was searching the university website, emailing a professor or advisor or going to the library to look it up in a book (yes, a book with pages!). Then once you find that information, you still have to figure out what it means in order to actually have an understanding of what you found.

I have discovered that reading academic articles is a great way to hone this skill, especially if you’re doing research on a particular topic. Being able to read through a 20-30 page article and glean the information that you need, and actually understand what the author is saying is difficult! But it’s such an important skill. My best advice to you on this one would be to practice practice practice!

I think something that studying abroad also taught me (not on Forbes’ list, but still important!) was how to get along with many different kinds of people.  When you study abroad, not only are you putting yourself in a different culture, you’re also meeting other study abroad students who are out of their element too, and you get to learn about many different cultures, not just the culture of the place you’re studying.

Learning how to connect with people from all backgrounds and cultures is an important skill that can help you when finding a job.  Many employers want to hire people who are personable and can adapt to changing situations which may include people who are very different from you.

Thanks for reading! I hope this was helpful to you on some level.
Don’t forget to check back next week to find out some answers to frequently asked questions about Comm classes!


– Abby

(Photo: Me (Abby), and my sister (Hannah) at the Louvre in Paris)

About An Intern

If you’ve seen the post below this, you might know a little bit about me already, but if you have NO idea who I am, or even if you have some idea who I am, I’m Abby. This summer I am the intern for the School of Communication Studies. I am an applied communication major with a minor in photo illustration. For me, that combination is absolutely perfect. “Why is that a perfect combination, Abby?” you might ask. Well, let me tell you.

As an applied concentration, I am able to take classes not only in the School of Communication Studies (COMM), but also in Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) and Visual Communication Design (VCD). If you don’t already know those abbreviations, I’d recommend that you remember them because I’ll be using them frequently in my blog posts! Taking classes in all three schools has helped me to widen my skill-set to include writing in Associated Press (AP/news style) format (JMC), basic photograph skills (VCD), public speaking (COMM), a basic understanding of advertising (JMC) and a basic understanding of how communication works within organizations (COMM).

In the future, I’d love to combine my major and minor and work in the marketing and advertising field doing communication and some design work, which makes this internship (and major) perfect for me.
Not only do I get to see the behind-the-scenes of the School of Communication Studies, I get to help design bulletin boards, materials for Homecoming and also improve my communication skills within an office environment.

When you think of the stereotypical “intern” you might think of someone who gets coffee for the office, makes copies and just follows orders, but that’s not the case in The School of Communication Studies. In the three weeks that I’ve been here, I have created two new bulletin boards, designed a flyer, gotten trained to edit the school’s website, gone to a Marketing Council Meeting and researched several past and present faculty and staff members in anticipation of articles that I will be writing. It might not sound like a lot, but I’ve found that I am able to contribute a significant amount of important material to the school. The things I am working on will be seen by lots of students, parents, and faculty and staff members here at the University.

One of the projects I am most excited to start working on is materials for Homecoming! I love the spirit of Homecoming: it’s a time where current students and alumni come together to show their school pride. For more information about the history of Homecoming, click here!

I am looking forward to helping the School of Communication Studies put their best foot forward for this event in the fall. I’ll keep you updated on what I’m working on for Homecoming in future blog posts.

I’m excited to continue to contribute to what the School of Communication Studies does within Kent State University and learn more about how the School operates on a day-to-day basis.

Keep an eye out for future posts to find out more about what projects I’m working on and what intern life is like on a weekly basis in the School of Communication Studies.

Thanks for reading!

Yackley at La Sagrada Familia 2015
Me in front of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain
April, 2015