As a college student you think the decision making process is over once you’ve chosen a major, but for those who choose to pursue a communications degree, the decisions are just beginning.
The communications industry has a variety of career paths to pursue, such as journalism, public relations, video, and graphic design to name a few. While it is important to be knowledgeable about all of the different sectors of the industry, it is just as important to specialize in one or two areas.
This decision can be instant or one that takes four years at school to decide. Personally, I have refined my many options down to two as I approach my senior year. I have found this process to be both frustrating and interesting. Instead of viewing this as a grueling choice, I approached it as a way to experiment and find out what I would enjoy doing for the rest of my life. From my experience, and an article from U.S. News, here are four tips for choosing a specialization in the communications industry:
1. Seek out help: This is not something that you have to do alone. When I first entered college I met with my advisor multiple times to see what options I had and where to start. The important thing is to not get overwhelmed and do what is best for you. I found it really helpful to ask my professors what part of the field they enjoy the most and why.
2. Explore: Try out as much as you can. Take a design class, volunteer to write for the campus newspaper, or participate in multiple internships. I always thought I would go into public relations, but found a real passion for design when I took an intro to graphic design course my second semester of college. Taking careers for a test run while still in school is a great way to see what you enjoy and what you are good at.
3. Be introspective: This whole process is for you to figure out what you want, so it is important to be honest with yourself and really analyze what will work out the best for you.
4. Be proactive: Start early! While you don’t have to make the decision the moment you step onto campus, it is important to start thinking about life beyond college. Don’t let yourself become a second semester senior who has no clue what they want to do after graduation.
Communications is an exciting and diverse field where all professionals have to decide what aspect they want to be a part of. My internship at Bravo Group is a vital part of my decision process as I grow and learn how to balance my passions for graphic design and public relations.
Until next time,
Courtney Garloff, Bravo Group Creative Intern-Harrisburg Office