As an undergrad I never faltered from my choice to major in communication with an emphasis in public relations. Now, as a communication professional and student in a communication graduate program, I can’t think of any other career path I would have wanted to pursue.
Throughout my undergraduate studies it became clear to me that a graduate program in communication could open the doors to many exciting career opportunities. What do I mean by that? I mean that when you earn a strategic communications degree, you’re essentially a jack-of-all-trades. Because strategic communication can encompass a wide variety of job duties, I am constantly learning new skills. When I began college, I thought I would learn to write a press release and how to effectively public speak. I am so glad to say I learned so much more and am continuing to learn more in my communications career. From social media to graphic design, the possibilities for my communications career have increased two-fold since it began three years ago. That is the best thing about a career in communication – it’s always evolving.
As communication professionals we are expected to be experts at communicating with all levels of an organization and any outside audiences. We meticulously craft our company’s image through messages broadcasted to media outlets, on social media and within internal communication efforts. Our work complements any marketing initiatives and can help drive sales. For these reasons, it’s commonly known among communication and public relations professional that our jobs are 24/7/365. Whether we’re monitoring stories and social media or doing damage control, we’re always on call. While that may seem like a drag to some, it’s second nature to people in our field and it’s exhilarating.
In my years as a communication professional, I have found there is no bigger thrill than knowing my work is being consumed by people. Whether it’s hitting ’Publish’ on a Facebook post or landing a major media story, it’s a privilege to have a hand in shaping the narrative of a company or organization. My communication degree has allowed me to work in a newsroom, a nonprofit and now a global corporation. I can’t wait to see where it takes me next.
Have you considered a career in communication?
Caroline Matis 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.