10 Things Communications Majors Should Know
Welcome to the world of communications; a fast growing industry that’s fast paced and ever-changing. In communications, there are heaps of areas to explore and tons of opportunities for you to discover. Now that you’ve entered the realm, here are ten things communications majors should know that will help you through your program:
1. Don’t let others tell you that Communications is useless.
Others have told me that Communications is a bunk degree and that it will be difficult to find a job. However, Communications is definitely not a useless degree! Without communications, there would be no terms and conditions, no news/journalism, no entertainment talk shows, no proper communication lines in companies, and the list goes on! Communications is a versatile degree with great career prospects. So the next time someone tells you it’s not a real degree, don’t listen to their silliness!
2. Start making connections and build your networks.
This is something that you can start doing in your first year. It’s common for businesses and organizations to hire students with a great network, or at least a great representation of connections and communications skills. Plus, you’d have more opportunities that come your way by the end of your degree! Another tidbit to make note of is that many organizations are more open to teaching students the ropes as they work on their degrees versus students who have already graduated.
3. Be professional to your professors and faculty.
Although you may not have graduated yet, a little professionalism goes a long way. As you go through your classes, you’ll learn that many professors and faculty members are well connected outside of your college or university. Something as simple as sending a proper e-mail can go a long way!
4. Know your grammar.
Grammar, grammar, grammar! You’ll hate it at first but you’ll learn to love it. Grammar is very important when it comes to Communications, especially if you plan to get into editing. Spend the time to learn it and reap the benefits!
5. A grammar paper is not the same as an English paper.
Depending on the classes you take, you may have to write a grammar paper. In my first year, I thought a grammar paper was equivalent to an English paper. Needless to say, I regret this mistake and not spending enough time learning about grammar. Refer to tip number 4.
6. Peer review your papers as much as possible!
In Communications, you will be doing a ton of writing. Each professor is different, and some are more particular than others. Instead of waiting to see how hard your professor marks after the first assignment, get your papers reviewed by your classmates or at your school’s writing centre, before you hand it in. This could really help you in the long run.
7. Be consistent with social media.
Social media is especially popular in the Communications world. You may even find that you’ll be learning about social media outlets in your classes! If social media will be a part of your future career, it helps to be consistent with posting your content, especially if you’re building a portfolio. When posting, use hashtags and other kinds of tagging, since they help get you more exposure. On that note, remember to censor yourself to an extent on your personal social media accounts. I have known many people who did not get jobs or internship positions because of a seemingly harmless post.
Communications is so vast. Don’t be afraid to take other communications classes as your electives. You might find that you really like journalism after all to the degree that you switch your major! Keep an open mind and remember how versatile your degree really is.
9. Start building a portfolio.
As a growing profession, Communications is getting increasingly competitive. So, remember to have a portfolio or a collection of your experiences and projects to show future employers what you’re made of. Stand out from the crowd and prepare yourself as early as you can.
10. Always ask for help!
This is probably the most important tip of all. Don’t be scared to talk to your professors and faculty advisors. Ask as many questions as you need to and take advantage of those office hours! Communications can be harder than anyone thinks and reaching out for help will only benefit you.
I’d be happy to answer your questions, if you schedule a chat. Good luck with your communications degree!
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