Graduate Reflections: Communication Management
In any academic setting, the final semester is almost always the most challenging. There are tons of deadlines to meet, loose ends to tie up, and usually one culminating project you must complete before you receive your degree. On top of all of this, you also need to prepare for the next stage of your life, whether that means applying to another academic program or applying for jobs.
My last semester at Emerson followed this path, and while it was definitely one of my busiest semesters, it was also by far the most exciting and productive. I have always believed that with any kind of experience, the process is infinitely more valuable than the end result – that is, you learn the most while you are experiencing something. Thus, it is worthwhile to make the most of the resources you have available as a student, and capitalize on every opportunity that comes your way. It really is amazing how the little things can benefit you later. While I am walking away from Emerson with a Master’s degree, it is the experiences I’ve had at Emerson—the conversations I’ve had with classmates and professors, the internships I’ve done, my on-campus jobs, the informational interviews with alumni, and my thesis—that have prepared me with the necessary skills, knowledge, and connections to move forward in my career.
Starting in July, I will be working at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) as an Employee Communication Specialist in their Human Resources department. I feel lucky to have found a position that is in line with my interests and my degree, and I am a firm believer that my experiences at Emerson—particularly the ones I sought on my own outside of the classroom—have been instrumental in preparing me for this job. As a student at Emerson, you have access to so many great resources – a great alumni network, opportunities for on-campus jobs and internships relevant to your field of study, an amazing array of extracurricular activities, a vibrant international community, and an environment that fosters flexibility and creativity. Not to mention, you are also living in one of the country’s most dynamic, progressive, and multifaceted cities, amidst leaders in education, science, medicine, and publishing.
I cannot emphasize enough the value of simply getting involved, whatever your interests may be. It is a common misconception that you cannot gain relevant work experience while in school. And work experience is not just limited to internships and part-time jobs—attending conferences and networking events, assisting professors with their research, volunteering at school events, and even contributing to blogs—all allow you to develop very valuable and marketable skills. Really, every little thing counts. In graduate school, you receive an advanced degree in your interest area, but in order to make this degree even more worthwhile and competitive, it should be coupled with relevant work experiences that you pursue on the side. At Emerson, you have the opportunity to do both, so make the most of it!