When I was younger, my mom always called me a “Jack of all trades.” She always saw me as a loving and caring son who was also a good athlete and a strong student. What more could she ask for, right? For me, this “Jack of all trades” continued throughout my adult life and my communications career.
My First Communications Job
After graduating from the University of Scranton in 1999, my first job out of college was as an Assistant Editor for a trade magazine called Nonwovens Industry. A year later I would become an Associate Editor for another trade and website called Sporting Goods Business.
My Military Communications Career
When I thought I was quickly moving up the writing/editing trade magazine business, all of a sudden I was laid off from the magazine and my career went in a new direction.
I joined the U.S. Army in 2001 as a broadcast journalist. In those 7-plus years, I worked as a radio disc jockey, videographer, and producer and towards the end of my Army career, I taught broadcasting. I spent more than 7 years broadcasting or teaching broadcasting.
Post Military Communications Career
After the military, I got a job as a Media Relations Specialist for Northrop Grumman and worked part-time as a producer for a talk radio station in Baltimore. At this point, I had worked in so many areas of communications, still living up to the “Jack of all trades” moniker my mother gave me so many years ago.
In 2010, I returned to teaching broadcasting at the Defense Information School on Fort Meade, Maryland. In 2015, I was promoted to Team Lead for one of the Video Skills teams.
My 16 year-plus communications career has included:
- Writing for the print and the web
- TV broadcasting
- And media relations.
Outside of any significant social media experience, I have a wide range of experience throughout the field of communications but I felt something was definitely missing from my resume.
When I Decided I Needed to Pursue my Masters in Communication
After the birth of my second child, I thought really hard about what the next step would be in my communications career. The birth of my son prompted me to start thinking about setting goals and making every attempt to achieve them. I did not want my kids to grow up satisfied and complacent in life. And if I was going to tell them to go out and achieve, I felt like I needed to do the same. At that point, I knew I wanted to pursue my life-long goal of getting my Masters.
Purdue’s online graduate program in Communications is allowing me to do just that. By pursuing my degree online, I can balance my family life, my career and my goal of getting my Masters. With this degree, I will be more confident to take the next step in my communications career, whatever that may be. I know I will have the skills, knowledge and experience to achieve the goals I have set out for myself. But most important of all, my mom will now be able to call me a “Jack of all trades with a Master of Science in Communication”.
Jeffrey Lacap is a student in Purdue’s online Master of Science in Communication degree program. The program can be completed in just 20 months and covers numerous topics critical for advancement in the communication industry, including crisis communication, social media engagement, focus group planning and implementation, survey design and survey analysis, public relations theory, professional writing, and communication ethics.
*The views and opinions expressed are of the author and do not represent the Brian Lamb School of Communication.