Every semester I have at least one student ask the question, “What can I do with a degree in Communication?” One of the courses I teach, CM101 (Introduction to Media Studies) answers that question. The course has many goals and objectives but a primary focus is to provide students with an introduction to the communication field. The course discusses theory, economics, ethics, and law and legal practices of the media. But, it also provides an introduction to working in and critically analyzing the many fields within the communication industry: book publishing, magazine publishing, newspaper publishing, television production, radio production, sound recording, film, journalism, advertising, public relations and new media. I have the very real pleasure of introducing students to all of these fields (which I happen to love – I have myself worked in many of them) at the very beginning of their academic career. For the past two years I have also been teaching a course that students take at the end of their academic career – Internship in Communication. Internship in Communication is taken in the fall of senior year and it allows students to put into practice all of the coursework that was started in Introduction to Communication. In the fall 2012 semester many students worked at exciting places around the Philadelphia area. I will use this blog to periodically highlight their experiences and show you what you can do with a degree in Communication.
The first student I would like to feature is senior, Jaime Jackson. Jaime was also a student of mine in CM110 (Speech Communication). In the fall she interned at a radio station in Philadelphia, Hot 107.9. Jaime’s internship was very time -consuming but also very rewarding. She was able to obtain real world experience working at a radio station in one of the top 10 markets in the country. For those of you who do not know, radio markets and stations are ranked and rated by the Arbitron company. Their Fall 2012 report ranks Philadelphia as market number 8 (out of 275). ( http://www.arbitron.com/home/mm001050.asp ) Arcadia students are very fortunate to live in such close proximity to Philadelphia. Jaime can now put on her resume that she interned at a station in market #8. Many people spend their whole career trying to get to a market that is ranked in the top 10. Jaime did it before even leaving college!
Jaime’s main responsibility was working for the Q Deezy show, which is on the air Monday-Friday from 3pm-7pm. The 3pm-7pm time slot is considered highly desirable in radio because it is “drive time” – when most people are tuning in as they make their way home from work. Some of Jaime’s responsibilities were to search for content for the DJ to talk about on the air, edit calls from listeners, and enter contest winner information into the station’s system. She was also able to use skills she learned in classes at Arcadia to impress her supervisors. She created a Wikipedia page for DJ Q Deezy and other DJs at the station (a skill she learned in Dr. Dwyer’s CM213 – Writing and Communication class). She also wrote a bio for Q Deezy that is featured on his website – www.qdeezy.com (a skill she learned in Professor Frank’s CM268 – Multimedia and the Web class).
Jaime even became a part of the show itself and was often featured interacting with the DJ on the air. She was introduced to listeners as “Intern Jaime” and her own personal stories were used to provide content for the show. In addition to being featured on the show, Jaime voiced over several commercials and was featured on the air continuously during the 4 months she spent at the internship. Here is one of the commercials that aired on Hot107.9:
Finally, Jaime also represented the station at events in the community. She would greet listeners and sign them up for raffles and give-aways. She went many places including local colleges, neighborhoods and concerts. A highlight for her was working the Nas & Lauryn Hill concert and then being able to attend the event! She also got to meet many celebrities and industry insiders.
Jaime’s experience is just one example of what you can do with a Communication degree. I will use this blog throughout the semester to give you more ideas of how you can use your Communication degree during and after college!