Taking the Leap Proved to be Worth It

It’s safe to say that before I came to UNCW and became a communication studies major, I was living with my eyes closed. It’s hard to put into words just how thankful I am that I decided to attend UNCW, but I’ll give it my best shot.

I will start with the university as a whole.

Not only is it located in a beautiful place geographically, just look at the campus, but it is filled with people who are dedicated to getting the most out of every student. Transferring from a smaller school, I have to admit I was worried at first about becoming just another number lost in the crowd. I would soon realize that this was far from the case.

UNCW proved to be the perfect place to learn and grow

Not only did I feel right at home here, but my belief that the education I was going to receive would be superior, was confirmed.

As a transfer student going from already being a COM major, to PCOM, and forced to take public speaking, I was not exactly thrilled about my decision to attend UNCW my first semester.

Those initial feelings of doubt could not be farther from how I feel now.

After getting through the gateway courses, I started to realize how much being a COM major at UNCW had to offer. Taking courses outside of my focus such as interracial communication and political communication, combined with courses such as IMC I and Advertising II, helped me gain a broader perspective of the world and a better understanding of how everything is connected.

In addition to providing me with this broader and better understanding of the world, it also made me think more critically about it.

Everything is not always as it appears and it is important to understand how to think for yourself. Every course I have taken here has addressed this mindset, and is something that UNCW and the COM department should take great pride in.

Not every university prepares students equally

As a-soon-to be graduate from UNCW, I am more prepared to start my career than I could have ever imagined. I will be forever grateful for this, but I am more grateful for how prepared I will be to better myself in all aspects of my life.

My eyes are now open, and I will do my best to understand all I see.

Brian Clifford ’17








Here’s to Being Thankful My Plan A Sucked.

My last blog post on here, wow. I can’t believe it’s over.

Alright, here we go-

I didn’t plan on going to UNCW; it just wasn’t my ‘Plan A’.

I didn’t plan on anything happening the way it did. But you know, life is funny like that.

My whole life, I had always lived by the beach. But my freshmen year of college at ECU made me feel completely landlocked, lost, and not at all satisfied with tailgates and purple/gold color coordination. The pirate’s life was in fact not for me. I was miserable, and sooo not into skipping class for football.

I didn’t have a Plan B, so I just went for it, and followed my way back to the coast and transferred.

I never really found my fit in the land of purple and gold. But when I came to UNCW, it felt like home. And the funniest thing about it? I’m here because my ‘Plan A’ failed miserably. I fell in love with my school, my major, and my new found home. And I was completely okay with skipping class for the beach.

I’ve taken in all that I can from the journey that has been the past 3 years. And I learned so much. I learned what a COM major at UNCW should learn, but I also learned 2 crucial life lessons from my college experience:

  1. Your plans will potentially suck and fail.
  2. Your failed plans will bring you to exactly where you need to be.

So here I am, right where I need to be, forever thankful that my ‘Plan A’ sucked.

UNCW will be my alma mater, and Wilmington will continue to be the place I call home. My personal and academic life plans failed for the better, and it all worked out just fine. I wish I could hug the whole university and all its’ students, faculty, and buildings because I will truly miss the Dub Life.

I hope those of you reading this take your time at UNCW and in Wilmington. It’s a beautiful little place in a wonderful city. I hope you don’t get discouraged when your plans fail you. Actually, you should plan for all of your plans to fail, even the most secure ones. And if your plan fails? Just ride the wave of it until you reach the shore you’re destined to land at.

It’ll be a hell of a ride, I promise.

Kayla Millie ’17



Tips for Your Linkedin Profile

Applying for jobs has many young adults worried. There are ways, however, to boost your chances of landing that job. Creating a Linkedin Profile is one way to show your professionalism and is a good way to network with countless other people, but you are probably thinking that many people have these profiles. How can you make yours stand out? We have some tips that you can use when crafting your profile.1217linkedin

  1. Join as Many Groups as You Can

Linkedin allows it users to connect with others and start groups. It is important to be in groups because the more groups you are in the more likely you will be found when searched by an employer. Be sure to only join groups that are relevant to the jobs you want to get. The more groups you are a part of the more times your name your will appear in front of someone looking to hire. You can really make yourself standout by leading a group too.

  1. Be Very Descriptive in Your Summary

The more descriptive you are in your summary the better your chances will be in attracting attention to your profile. This space allows you to tell what separates you from your peers. It is a good resource to share your story. Also, be sure to include many keywords in the “speciality” section so that when searched, your profile will show up sooner.  blog-cover-1024x587

3. Keep it Professional

Your Linkedin profile should be completely different than your Facebook profile. Linkedin is not a place to chat with your friends or create a profile to see how many shares or likes it can get. It is about networking and giving companies an online representation of who you are. Your profile needs to be organized. If your profile is a mess then whoever is looking at your page will assume that you are a mess too.

  1. Show off Your Worklinkedin2

Linkedin gives its users the opportunity to attach files or link websites in the profile. It is important to utilize this so that employers have a direct link to see the work you have done. Do not be afraid to show off your work and be proud of what you have done. Remember confidence is key. Make your profile a confident one.  

  1. Keep it as Updated as Possible

Your Linkedin profile should not be outdated. A profile is not created and then left to be alone. It should be in motion and kept up to date. Your profile needs to constantly be updated so that employers see all your experience. If you leave important information out then they will have no way of knowing of it. They can only see what you put out there. Adding that extra information could mean the difference between getting hired or getting overlooked. If you have experience then be sure to let them know. Do not limit yourself.

Let us know what you think of our tips and be sure to comment below if you have any of your own that you would like to share!

-Austin, Jonathan, & Kaela

Photo Sources


Seven Years of College Down the Drain

College. That place where mannequins come crashing through Friday night frat houses, and beer don’t cost nothing. Well, I may be thinking of Animal House, but college is like that, right? While my college experience was one of a kind, I cannot say that I have ever stolen a rump roast from the corner Piggly Wiggly. Or did I?


It started like this, graduated high school with honors, got accepted into a quaint Christian college, and the rest is history. For most maybe, but not for me. While I pursued mechanical engineering and swam for the school swim team, I never felt like I was home. A semester in, I decided that college just was not for me, so I quit school to work night shift at Amazon. It was a smart plan until about a month in I realized that manual labor did not sound appeasing for the rest of my life. Jumping back into the college plan, I took some classes at the local community college to work my way back into higher education. After 3 semesters, I transferred to a place called UNCW. Although it was not my first choice at the time (#1 PSU), I welcomed the university with open arms.

Two and a half years later, and I cannot believe that I am about to leave my home away from home. Having such a negative experience starting college, I had given up on finding the school that I could call my own.  Somehow, whether it was within my major, or the various student groups I became involved with, I now dread the day when I have to leave this home of mine. This school has given me so many opportunities to improve and better my communication skills.

Looking forward I am excited to see where everything that I have learned, from my time at UNCW and within the COM major, will take me. Fingers crossed I end up in the brewing or automotive industry.

Cheers to us, the class of 2015!


-Joseph Hines

A Symbol of Hope or Shopping?

Whether it be the NFL, Yoplait’s pink lids, or local breast cancer benefit events, like UNCW Communication Studies Society’s Rock for a Cure this Friday night, the color pink is plastered all over the nation during the month of October. As it stands, the pink ribbon is a universal symbol representing the fight against breast cancer. Over the past few years some critics have emerged saying this beacon of hope has merely become an annual marketing campaign. Nancy Stordahl, a blogger for the Huffington Post, criticizes the campaign and in 2012 she composed a list of the ten things she felt were wrong with the pink ribbon.

You can find the full article here, but there are two points in particular she relates back to marketing that raise an interesting discussion. The first is that the pink ribbon is being used to sell stuff and has lost its original purpose, a purpose to unite this country and show our commitment to finding a cure. Today, marketers are using the pink ribbon to tie the cause to the products they are trying to sell. Stordalh even calls breast cancer the “shopping disease.” Customers are no longer buying just the product but they are now buying into the pink ribbon and what it has traditionally stood for. The typeology approach to IMC acknowledges that companies have products that look like another company’s products and services. However, it also points out that the market depends on common interests between themselves and the people who can help their company thrive. While the number of pink ribbon branded products on the market may be alarming, maybe marketers are giving consumers what they want – a deeper connection to a brand that allows them to make a contribution to something that has seemingly impacted them both.

The second point Stardahl makes is that marketers are selling the idea of “selling good will.” If the consumer purchases a product that will lead to a company’s contribution, the consumer views this purchase as their contribution to the cause. This tactic allows corporations and organizations to sell more products and increase profits while enhancing their corporate social responsibility at the same time. In turn, consumers are able to buy into the commodity culture that surrounds the pink ribbon. They become part of the fight and part of the cure all while donning their pink ribbon branded merchandise.

Next time you have the opportunity to join the fight, think local and try to avoid the marketing tactic of “selling good will” and supporting the “shopping disease.” If what critics say is true, and the pink ribbon has lost its symbolism for hope, strength and a unified commitment to a cure, is it ethical for marketers to continue using this symbol on their products? Let us know what you think about the national attention that is brought to the pink ribbon. Do you think it has become a marketing tactic or does it still representation of the fight to find cure?


A.C.E. – Your Source for Campus Entertainment

Please nod your head if you have ever taken another route to class pretending to be on your cell phone or completely ignoring someone who was trying to give you an event flyer. If you give your computer screen a nod, we applaud you.  However, if you are like 99% of the student population at UNCW and nodded your head–we understand.

There are over 250 student organizations vying for our attention, membership and time so how do we pick what to attend? Our choices depend on how, or if, we hear about the event and how creative the marketing is. The Association for Campus Entertainment is the university’s student programming board Did you enjoy Hoddie Allen last year? That was ACE. What about when Maci Bookout from Teen Mom was here in the spring? That was ACE too.

In the midst of everything college kids have going on, ACE provides an outlet for free entrainment. But just like every other student organization, they have to compete for your time as well. Integrated Marketing Communication, IMC,  allows us to diversify the means by which we achieve our marketing goals. A public relations campaign? Check. Social media presence? Also check. Cool and engaging advertising? Also IMC.

ACE does this through an array of promotional tools each year, the first being through giveaways what college student doesn’t like free things? This year ACE gave phone wallets, Croakies, car USB adapters and staplers. This may seem like a mishmash of items but each one served a purpose: to be seen and get the ACE name known. Whether it is letting a classmate use the ACE braded stapler, or paying for food in Wag as you pull your OneCard out of your ACE branded phone wallet, ACE is marketing their brand. The goal is to increase the number of times a student sees a brand and how they associate it—hopefully in a positive light.


There is more to promotions than simply getting a name out; ACE must also promote their events. There are the standard campus marketing methods such as banner, chalking and flyers, but in order to infiltrate the calendars of college students, you must take efforts farther. ACE is a brand that thrives on creative promotions, whether this be acting out a scene from an upcoming movie in the campus theatre or handing out paint brushes across campus for a Cheerwine and Design event. There is always something being passed out.

A successful marketing campaign goes beyond creating and implementing the campaign. The ultimate goal of IMC, is to not only change one’s beliefs, but to change his or her actions. Whether this be successfully convincing students to change their plans and attend an event or sign up for ACE, we want them to act on our suggestions. So how do you think ACE stacks up, do you hear about their events through traditional means of advertising or through creative promotions across campus? Furthermore – how do you prefer to be wooed into coming to an organization’s event or do you organically decide to attend? Let us hear your thoughts and comments blow!

-Amanda, Daniel, Kendall, Meleah and Luke

It’s Not Over Yet!

It’s that time of year. COM seniors are finishing up final papers, projects, and preparing for presentations. The COM 400 portfolio is finally finished, and everyone’s talking about job interviews, families coming into town, and how they need to get out of their apartment the day after graduation.

But wait a second… I’m not done yet. I’m a July graduate. And I’m totally cool with it! 

I’m definitely not a fan of the notion that you have to finish school in four years. I’m finishing up my fifth year of college; the first three at my community college back home and the latter two here at UNCW. It doesn’t feel like five years—I wish I could stay longer! The reason why I don’t mind finishing a little later than most is because I want to ensure my college experience is the best it can possibly be.

My interest and career aspirations in media/video production are what brought me to take courses in advertising. I’ve always liked advertising. I love TV ads, and I’d love to make them for a living someday soon. Learning about advertising was the perfect complement to video production. This semester, my interest in the two fields opened me up to the rewarding experience of establishing Pier601 Creative, UNCW’s first student-run IMC firm. Be on the lookout for more exciting things to come from Pier601! If you plan to take Field Video Production courses with Dr. Bolduc, I would highly recommend signing up for IMC 1 or Advertising courses with Dr. Persuit as well. The skills you learn about advertising will greatly help you in communicating with video clients about their projects.

It’s so exciting seeing friends I’ve made in my time in the COM department prepare for graduation. I’ve met so many people in my two years here at UNCW, in both my media production and advertising classes. I’ve not only been pushed harder than I ever have before, but have been encouraged and motivated by my peers. I’ve seen them do some awesome work. One of my classmates and best friends won a car thanks to her work—how cool is that?

Whether you’re pre-COM, COM, or not, my charge to you is to take on those opportunities presented to you. Keep telling yourself it’ll be worth it… even if you graduate a little later than you thought.

Nathan Evers