As a person with multiple interests when I entered college I was unsure as to what I wanted to spend my life doing. I knew I wanted to help people but as I started college as a pre-med major I realized that I had no ambition towards becoming a doctor. It was from here that I switched to being a nursing major but even then something was off. I would be able to help people yes but that only fulfilled half of what I wanted to do. Nursing and pre-med did not adhere to my creative side. It was then that I went and spoke with my counselor who made me aware of my schools mass communication program. I entered it with communication studies as my concentration.
With communication studies, I was able to learn more about the program and myself, and I dabbled in broadcast media for a while. I partook in the school’s radio station, “AudioNet News” where I helped to write and produce the 11 o’clock morning show. There were also days where I participated in reporting and hosted the show. This further fueled my interest in broadcast media so I took classes like audio production where I was introduced to the basic of writing for radio and producing my own radio commercials and news stories. I also took a class on writing for radio and tv which furthered my skills in writing for broadcast media. It was then that I was sure that broadcast media might be the fit for me, I even took it on as my media practicum over the summer of 2016. But, while it fed my needs in creative writing it did nothing for the more visually artistic side of me.
From a young age drawing and design has been a huge outlet for me. While I enjoy creative writing, in many of my notes you could always find a doodle or design. So as I dabbled in our broadcast media courses I also took a few in our theater department. My favorite class was the “Introduction to Theater Design” that I took spring of 2014. In this course, I got to design stages, costumes, and for my final a painting and model that incorporated sound and lighting.
Jumping from one thing to another dabbling in broadcast media but having an interest in design I was conflicted in how I could combine the two. It was in 2015 when I learned about our newest concentration in the mass communication department, public relations. Doing my own research and further inquiring about it I learned that my skills from broadcast media could be easily transferred into public relations. Not only that but I learned that public relations could be used to feed my need to help people, it also tied in with my part time job where I work in customer services, and allowed me to incorporate the visually creative side of me as well. Concentrating in public relations was a win-win decision for my skill set and overall wants in a career path. It offers many venues for my creative outlets.
One of the first courses I took within the concentration was a special topics course with Lenovo’s VP of Communications Jeff Shafer. In this course, I learned how to think in times of a crisis and how to properly handle crisis management for a company. We learned how to properly speak in front of the media and what words to use during a crisis. He also provided examples on how to keep our consumers up to date via social media. Other courses that I took were writing and publications for public relations and public relation theory and practice. In my writing and publications class, I was taught how to produce press releases and brochures, plan events with budgets, assemble media kits, and the proper media strategies for various situations. This course allowed me to further build on the skills that I learned in broadcast media while incorporating my passion for drawing and design.
While it may have taken me a while to find a career path that was right for me it was worth it, in the end, to discover who I am and what I can do. I learned that I am strong minded, able to function well under pressure, that I have a knack for audio production and public speaking, and have a nice eye for design.