So you’ve decided to study marketing, advertising or public relations.
That’s great! Now, what are some of the skills you should be making sure to develop as you are working on career development? As a student in the College of Arts + Sciences, you are building valuable skills regardless of what your focus is. These transferable skills to question critically, think logically, communicate clearly, act creatively and live ethically are key in helping you find a path that you love.
Luckily, as a communications student, there are even more skills you can hone in on to make you more competitive in the job hunt. “What are they?” you may ask. Well, luckily for you The Princeton Review has made it a little easier. Not only do they explain the top 3 must-have skills of communications students, they also give you advice on how to develop these skills outside of the classroom and how to talk about them on a resume. Whether you’re just starting out, getting ready for the full-time job search, or just looking for a way to prepare yourself for your next job hunt, these skills are valuable for you.
Become a media and marketing expert.
Get involved in all forms of media that interest you and get to know them front and back. You can find an internship or job shadowing opportunity where you can see what working in media or marketing is really like. You can even join an IU student organization for students like you. The more familiar you become with the industry, the more you will know what interests you.
This could include staying up to date on the news, whether local, national, or global. Try finding a service or an app that offers a daily rundown of current events.
Learn public speaking.
Communications. It’s in the name. Part of the role or a communications professional is to understand and even be able to handle public speaking. Whether it is presenting a campaign to your boss, writing a speech for your VP, or even interacting with a customer, you need to be confident in your ability to communicate clearly in front of people. Here at IU there are great opportunities to work on this skill. Try looking into the Global Affairs Presentation or the Indiana Debate Team, (which offers competitive and non-competitive teams) and don’t forget to make the most of your COLL-P 155 Public Oral Communication class.
Learn how to do qualitative and quantitative research.
Marketing and PR rely heavily on research data for anything from identifying target markets, to gathering statistics for consumer satisfaction, to fact-checking for a press release. Regardless of if you are interested in academia, news, PR, or marketing, understanding how to do research is valuable. Try becoming a research assistant for a professor whose field you like, or find an internship or job shadowing opportunity at a think tank, non-profit, or consulting firm.
Did we mention networking?
Each of these opportunities provides you with the change to build skills and get to know people in the industries that interest you! Take advantage of each opportunity to talk to someone new.
Each of these skills, and any others you pick up as you put yourself out there and build experience will benefit you in one way or another throughout your career development. Your future self will thank you.