Looking Forward…Looking Back

A professor here at UNCW told me on the first day of COM. 490 that we as students are a lot like the Sankofa bird. ”The Sankofa” teaches us that we must go back to our roots in order to move forward. That is, we should reach back and gather the best of what our past has to teach us, so that we can achieve our full potential as we move forward.” This resinates even more now that graduation is practically upon us. I am reminded of the student I came here as during orientation and the professional I will be exiting as during graduation. Moving 12 hours away from my family, friends and everything I knew was hard; it was the most difficult thing I had ever done. I knew no absolutely no one. Would I fit in? Would I be happy with my choice to up root my life half way down the east coast? The answer to these questions are YES. As graduation is rapidly approaching I find it only appropriate to looking back at the university that made me who I am today in order to be secure in where I may go in the future.

Entering as a freshman I was undecided on my major. A friend I met in the dorms told me she was a Communication Studies major so I looked into it and decided to try it out. It ended up being one of the best decisions of my life. I finally found where I was supposed to be. As I got deeper into the major I found to love what I learned even more, I feel that earning a degree in Communication Studies will not only help me professionally, but personally as well. I have learned to take a look at all the relationships in my life, both personal and work related and be aware of the communication among them. How can I be more supportive? How can I be more effective in presenting my ideas? I have learned life lessons which I will carry with me wherever I chose to go in the future.

IMC has opened my eyes to the fact that I don’t have to settle on just one aspect communicating in the marketplace. I can focus in on my attention to detail through event planning, while still using my creativity and research skills for marketing and advertising. It has made me more aware of the close relationship that now exists among pr, marketing and advertising, which some people in the work force now are not even aware of. I feel lucky to have been given training in IMC prior to entering the workforce.

As the days countdown to May 8th a rush of emotions come along with it. Like most of my fellow graduates I am nervous to leave the home  I have known for the past few years, but  excited to see where life takes me. Each of us is confident in our ability and knowledge of what this major has to offer each and every one of us. I will be taking a paid internship this summer in Wilmington  while job searching in multiple locations as I am open to wherever a job may be. Where ever I end up may it be California, New York or North Carolina, I will always remember the impact UNCW, the Communication Studies Department and the students had on my life.

Jess Smith

2 thoughts on “Looking Forward…Looking Back

  1. I am sure many of you have been faced with the same question when you tell people that you are an IMC major. Everyone replies with “well what are you going to do with that” All of your friends who are trying to enter the medical field or become a teacher etc, they already know they have some security with finding a job. For us IMC majors since there is no clear direction people see that as a bad thing. I have found the benefits in this. There are endless possibilites for our field. We are not forced being stuck in a classroom forever. If we wanted we could explore event planning, marketing, public relations etc.
    As the previous blogger stated we are building our own brand. We are finding our niche as IMC majors and this has been the best decision I have ever made. I think it takes someone special to study IMC, but it seems very rewarding at the end of the day. Even though I still have one more semester left before graduation I am very excited to hit the ground running with my career.

  2. I am a Senior at the University of Oregon and I feel as if you have had the same experience as I have had. As Jess shared, I also came to college not having any idea what I would decide to major in. After I took my first Journalism class here at the U of O I knew thats exactly what i would major in, and as I continued taking Journalism courses I kept learning and becoming a better writer.
    I personally do not graduate until June 15, and I have had many people approach me and ask, “So what what you doing with your life when you graduate.” The answer to that has been unknown for sometime; however, within this last month I have been reflecting how much I have grown in the last four years. I have a sense of fulfillment knowing that I have so many skills to step out into the workforce with because of the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon.

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