Any Communication Majors? Don’t All Speak at Once

So, do you talk a lot?

Personally, yes, and I’m not ashamed. However, this isn’t the basis of communication. Communication, verbal or non-verbal, is all about critically thinking and applying this critical awareness to different fields and areas of life. So, communication isn’t necessarily how often you communicate, but its effectiveness. Communication is about exchanging information, making better decisions, and enhancing your relationships. This increases knowledge and empathy as you learn to understand other people’s ideas, those meanings, and non-verbal cues, instead of solely focusing on what was said.

Consider that perspectives, opinions, and information constantly changes, so communication isn’t necessarily a skill that you conquer overnight. As a senior, who has been studying communication for four years, I’m still learning things like how to manage conflicts better and actively listen. I believe it’s safe to say that it is necessary to go into this field and real-life situations with an open mind because it shows that you’re willing to learn and understand different ideas and perspectives. Sure, I have to give presentations and write papers about John F. Kennedy or memorize different concepts and theories. However, I must admit that it is gratifying when I find myself connecting the material I learn in my classes to personal, societal, and workplace situations.

A suggestion of great Communication classes

My favorite Communication classes that I have taken thus far are CMN 102: Intro to Communication Theory & Research, and CMN 277: Intro to Mediated Communication. Both classes offer great, reflective information, and I think everyone can benefit from taking these classes. Here’s why:

  1. CMN 102 is a great class to take if you want to get a general, broad overview about Communication. It’s useful for both Communication majors and non-majors because it teaches students how to develop their communication skills in a general sense. Several topics related to communication, including persuasion, nonverbal communication, and workplace communication, are covered in this class. It’s a lot of great information to take in and highly recommended.
  2. CMN 277 is an intriguing class if you’re interested in media, like me. In fact, this class influenced me to declare my concentration as Mediated Communication and Technology. In this class, you get the opportunity to learn about how mass media, film, and television influences society’s attitudes, especially towards stigmatized and minority groups. After taking this class, you’ll realize just how much effect the media, especially social media, has on our beliefs and attitudes. 

Becoming involved in the field

Since the Communication field is broad, it can lead to many different careers, including media, journalism, and business. This can be overwhelming when trying to decide what you want to do with your Communication degree. So, it’s helpful to know that resources are available to test the waters.

Handshake

Handshake has been very helpful for me as a Communication major. This site has an extensive list of opportunities, ranging from internships to full-time jobs. Handshake can connect with the school, which allows students to tailor their profile to find internships, jobs, and career fairs. You can add and update your resume, which employers can view, and add any other academic interests that you have. It’s a great resource to find career opportunities and build connections as you advance through college.

Ask your advisor

On Reddit, this is a running joke, but there’s truth to every joke. Whenever I have a question, small or big, I can count on my advisor for help. As students, we tend to overthink and overwhelm ourselves with ideas about where we’re going and how we get there. It’s great to have a professional advisor offer guidance, answer our questions, and help us make decisions. Advisors are also a reliable resource to express your ideas and concerns. If you’re stressed out and feel that you can’t make good decisions, talk to your advisor. You’re not alone on this journey.

Communication Internship Program

Every month, the Communication department sends newsletters with undergraduate internship opportunities. From research opportunities to digital content to politics, there are many categories of internships to choose from & take advantage of as a Communication major. There’s also the opportunity to gain internship credit each semester through CMN 304. It becomes increasingly easier to gain experience in the field with all of the available resources. There are various paths to take that set you up for success, and you’ll never run out of options or fun experiences.

Anaya

Anaya

Class of 2022
Born in Chicago, Illinois, I am a senior pursuing a degree in Communication-based on my interests in writing and media. Aside from writing, I love to listen to music and roller skate! I hope to inspire people to discover the great resources and opportunities that UIUC offers and ways to enjoy the college experience!

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