By: Megan Damini
We all have that one family member or friend, that one person who will shamelessly ask you every single time they see you “Why did you choose…communications?”
I remember being asked this question times in first year University by mainly High School friends who had chosen different programs in science, commerce, engineering, etc. and just couldn’t understand why I would choose one that didn’t have a designated job path or job title lined up for me upon graduation. And to be honest, I couldn’t answer them in the beginning because I was just starting out and really didn’t understand what communications even was.
Fast forward three years later, and I still don’t know what communications ‘is’ because it can be anything and everything. My degree has provided me with so many skills that I could go into anything including branding, marketing, advertising, public relations, social media, and event planning (and these are just MY interests). I’ve taken courses that ranged from theory and research to data mining and analytics. Communications has provided me with both soft skills, such as how to effectively write and speak, and hard skills, such as how to collect, analyze and visualize data from social media.
Now as I reach the end of my University career, the question has somewhat shifted to “What do you plan on doing with a degree in…communications?”
Short Answer: Whatever I want.
Long Answer: …
Communications is broad.
Communications isn’t just one thing, but a multitude of things. It’s up to the Communications professional to pursue a career path that they find interesting, worthwhile, and can learn from. Graduating from communications means you have the skills to go into anything from policy to event planning. It also means that if five years into your career you think it’s time for a change, you have the skills to go learn something new.
Every corporation needs a communications team.
Communications is now at the core of everything. Good communication isn’t just one thing, but many things working together to maintain an image or message. Communications isn’t just having good public relations, it’s being able to respond to a crisis, have an active social media presence, run a public consultation, have a user friendly website, and more.
Communications offers valuable skills.
Learning how to write efficiently and effectively, and being able to speak publicly under pressure are just the start of it. Depending on the classes you took, you might also know how to produce a podcast, do some graphic design, or write for the web.
To conclude: I did not choose communications because I was confused. I chose communications because it is something I am passionate about, challenged by, and can continuously learn from.