What made you choose this major?
I chose to major in communication because I love writing and interacting with others in unconventional ways. I think with the advent of social media and other new media outlets there are so many new ways to communicate professionally, and being one of the first groups to explore those new territories is always exciting.
How has what you’ve learned prepared you for your future?
The great thing about a major in communication at Carroll is that it prepares you with both hard and soft skills. Initially I learned a lot of staples in the industry—how to write press releases, how to use social media effectively, the importance of creating a blog with new and original content, etc.—but I now find myself learning more and more about the deeper theories behind what compels people to communicate the way they do. That’s especially helpful for a field that will be completely different in ten years. Not only have I been taught to understand what’s happening now, I’ve been taught what will be happening five, ten or even 15 years down the line. I think that’s what’s prepared me best for the future.
What opportunities have you had to work closely with a faculty member and what impact has that had on your education?
I’ve benefitted immensely from my relationships to professors. I can think of three off the bat who have led me towards a brighter future with better opportunities—Professor Jim Gannon, Dr. Jon Gordon and Professor Jennifer Dobby. When I wanted to go to Italy for my Cross-Cultural Experience, I was initially rejected from the application list. However, when I told Professor Gannon the bad news, he told me that he valued my insight and thought it would be a great shame if I wasn’t able to learn abroad with him. The next day I received an email from the Carroll staff stating I’d been admitted on the trip. Additionally, both Dr. Gordon and Professor Dobby have worked with me to develop class schedules that fit my needs. They are the reason I was able to take 20 credits last semester while maintaining an internship, a student organization, a role in the school play, a tutoring position and a weekend job. That kind of schedule would be impossible anywhere else had I not been able to develop such a strong working relationship with my professors.
What’s one unique experience you’ve had relating to the coursework for your major?
I was tasked with delivering my own version of a Ted Talk in a higher-level communication course last year, and it taught me a lot about creative approaches to different issues. We were asked to create a multimedia presentation with video, sound, images and other tools in order to deliver an effective and moving speech. I decided to talk about the parallels between theatre, art and interpersonal communication. The end result was a speech that taught me how to use a variety of media while simultaneously telling a compelling story.
How has Carroll enriched your growth as a person outside of the skills you’re learning in the classroom?
I’ve been lucky to be a part of a variety of extracurricular activities outside of my major that have complemented it nicely. I joined the New Perspective, the newspaper here, during my freshman year—a decision that ultimately led to my position as co-editor of the paper. Additionally, I participate regularly in Carroll plays and musicals. Both of these opportunities have given me creative outlets to put what I’ve learned to use.
Why did you choose to attend Carroll University?
I’m very happy with my decision to attend Carroll University. I think the intimacy of the campus and its staff have dramatically impacted my experiences here in ways that a larger university simply can’t. My time here has proven that it’s not just about what you learn—it’s who you learn from, and what they can do for you. Connections are just as valuable as knowledge, and Carroll is a place where motivated individuals are going to make some incredible connections.