Things I Wish My Professors Prepared Me For

Professors Prepared

It has been exactly a year and five months since I graduated Florida International University (F.I.U.). Still, it feels like I was packing lunches to study in the library last week…

F.I.U. was the best experience of my life. I am forever grateful for the professional knowledge my communications professors provided. The issue with college is that one semester really is not long enough to cram years of experience into. Needless to say, there’s a lot of information that falls through the cracks. Professors are coerced into being more focused on passing rates than actually guiding students’ transition into the professional arena.

College students often consider getting a job to be the biggest issue they are going to face after graduation. What is not being taught, is that the real difficulty comes with maintaining your position within that job. It’s one thing to accept a job offer and another thing to actually work and continuously meet all expectations covered within the position.

“Welcome to reality; here’s your desk, here’s your new email address, here’s some random documents on our server, here’s your first 5 assignments, figure it out, good luck!” – Part-time receptionist at the front desk.

This is NOT a joke.

The dirty truth is, the lion din is a place where you either make it or you don’t.

Thankfully, you don’t really die after your first job (although sometimes it feels like it). Instead, you get another job and prep yourself with the knowledge of past failures and prepare for the lions once more. And you do this again and again, until you – somehow – survive. Even then, survival is an everyday battle.

A little dramatic? You don’t know the half of it.

The first skill I wish my professors prepared me to develop before I graduate is ATTENTION TO DETAIL. For some this comes naturally, for others it’s a learned talent. This is especially important for those in communications. Every letter, every design, every email, every project needs consistency and correctness. Don’t trust spellcheck or even your own eyes. Print every document before it is sent and check it twice more after you think it’s good to go. FYI Adobe programs don’t have spellcheck– learned it the hard way once. To help me develop this skill later on, I started solving word searches and reading articles much more often.

Secondly, I wish more professors taught me how to work under time restraints and pressure. After I graduated college I was so used to due dates that extended past several days or even weeks. When I first was handed an assignment at work due immediately, I completely panicked. Panic is everyone’s kryptonite in an office setting. It usually brings huge mistakes and irresponsible overlooks with it. I have never made as many mistakes as I have in an agency where all I did all day was put out fires and work with minute-long deadlines. Therefore, I believe quick exercises that require students to develop a project or train of thought within a short time would be a great addition to the classroom.

Developing a creative, make-it-up-as-you-go attitude can really do wonders within the communications field. In college, we have little room to develop critical thinking skills since we are have been taught what/how to think starting as early as elementary school. In a workplace, your boss will never hand you a nicely outlined prompt for you to highlight and circle. Here there are no guidelines. Here there are no rubrics of how to successfully approach a project. There is only a client/supervisor with an idea you must breathe life into correctly, the first time you approach it.

I hope this post will help others out there, rather it be a student or a professor, to see where they can strengthen themselves to prepare for a smooth transition into the professional world of communications.

Good luck out there,

Script3transp

TED Talks Releases 101 Summer Reads

For those who missed it, TED released 101 speaker-recommended summer reads.

And this list is #GOALS.

During my workday, as I sweep the internet for new opportunities and partnerships, I like to listen to Ted Talks. I am totally addicted to knowledge. I get so excited when my friends are confused about something and then ask me to update them on studies, news or history. So naturally, I was really excited about this list.

Based off of TED’s programs, I assumed their summer readings would only include academic and theoretic titles. In reality, it’s actually a well-mixed collection with an array of genres and authors. However, a large percentage of the books serve anthropological curiosity.

The books were arranged by 13 summer activities, including the following:

When you’re lying in the sun, when you’re in the mood for adventure, when you want to understand what’s going on in the world, when you’re spending summer in the city, when you’re itching to go back to school, when your kids are restless, when you’re unable to get to a museum, when you’re plotting to conquer the world, when your idea of a vacation is stepping into someone else’s life, when you’re over summer blockbusters and want something with soul and emotion, when you’re prepping for a picnic, BBQ or houseguests, when you want useful information AND when you want to learn from the past.

You basically have a book for every moment ~

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It has been a busy season at the office, so I decided to start with “When you’re plotting to conquer the world.”  Even though it’s almost the end of summer and I’ve only read 3 books from their list, I plan to see it through until the bitter end. I’ve already learned so much from authors Malcolm Gladwell, Maria Konnikova and Ken Robinson! Plus I am feeling soo inspired and confident from “The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything” (FYI there’s a free audiobook with this one when you’re trying out audible).

I believe next I will move on to “When you want to understand what’s going on in the world” because I am dying to get my hands on Roxane Gay’s “Bad Feminist: Essays.”

Read the list HERE!

Is anyone else attempting to master this reading challenge?

Cheers,

Script3transp