Our three years here at UNCW has been a nonstop learning experience. We have not only gained knowledge in classes, but have also gained valuable and unforgettable life experiences. Laura transferred to UNCW after her freshman year and since she has been in Wilmington has had three very valuable internships. The key to getting a job in this market is to have experience in your field of interest and being able to effectively market yourself to potential employers. In our IMC 1 class we had an assignment where we had to market our personal brand and why we should be hired over our competitors. It is crucial to understand how and why your brand is better than the kids sitting next to you. It is not only important to know why your brand is the best, but you also need to understand how to market your experiences and internships to fit the qualities for your potential employer. Taking advantage of internship opportunities, especially for credit through the Department of Communication Studies, is a great idea for anyone and everyone. Without those experiences we would not be as prepared or as knowledgeable about our field of interest as we are now. So, when you’re thinking of what to do with all your time during the beautiful summer in Wilmington, think about taking an internship or think about how you can make your brand stand out among others.
Another important piece of advice is to get involved on campus. Once you are a student, UNCW becomes your home away from home. The best way to find comfort is meeting and bonding with other students who are in your exact situation. UNCW has over 200 clubs and organizations for students to become involved in. The only hard decision you have to make is: which club should I join? Tennis, TealTV, Communication Studies Society, the choices are endless. The moral of the story is this: get involved on campus and make your presence known. You only have four years, which believe me, flies by in a blink of an eye. The friends you make in college become your friends for life. It is important to make your college journey memorable, exciting, and one that you can laugh about 40 years down the road reminiscing with your old college friends.
Lastly, as a college student, one of the most important things you do is research. Whether it’s writing a report, putting together a presentation, or simply watching the news on TV to catch the latest events, you are gathering information to analyze. Some of this information will be forgotten shortly after graduation, if not before you even cross the stage to get your diploma. However, some information you have gathered through your college career will stick with you for a lifetime and will become helpful in future career situations. Learning doesn’t just stop when you get your diploma. The research skills you learn to use as a student can be used for the rest of your life, as you strive to be an informed individual.
So just remember, time flies. Before you know it you will be walking across the stage to receive your diploma. Don’t just be a beach bum, at least, not all the time. Do something that will show your future employers that you did something with your short time here to make a difference.
-Laura Simmons, Brooke Keller, Ashley Oliver