Less defined yet more prepared

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So what are you going to do with that?  What does that even mean?

How many times have you been asked that question about your major? Many Liberal Arts and Sciences majors are not as clear-cut; the major does not project the type of career one might have, like say, an engineer who will build or an accountant who will analyze numbers.  What does a Communication Studies major do?  How about Public Relations, or even an English major? A college education is a must, and an undergraduate degree, many of which are housed in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will open many doors in the workforce.  Remember though, that the label on your Bachelor’s Degree upon graduation is not a career path in permanent ink; it is a starting point to chase a dream job that may be entirely unrelated to one’s undergraduate label.

Amy Juhnke, the Communications Director for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is our own in-house success story of the vast opportunities of an undergraduate major in a less-defined area.   When asked if her goals as an undergraduate were to end up working for a college university, she simply laughed and responded, “not at all.”

Juhnke graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in technical journalism with an emphasis on public relations, similar to our Communication Studies and Greenlee Journalism majors. Her job list over the past years consists of: Communication Specialist, Marketing Manager, Director of Marketing, and finally, Communication Director.

The point? Her journey was not a straight line, nor the same position type, geographical location, or even industry (global engineering corporation to local Iowa non-profit).  Her undergraduate degree did not define her career as a freshman in college.

As for the ever-dreaded job or internship search (or maybe exciting, depending on how many applications already completed), Juhnke advises that a Communication Studies major has just as much weight as a College of Business major; the main factor is sharing your successes and contributions to experiences on campus.  Juhnke perfectly states that, “your degree title is just one line on your resume,” the rest of the page are all the successes outside the classwork that make you a competitive candidate fit to stand tall next to other specifically-defined, but not necessarily prepared, undergraduate majors.

Posted by: Nicole Suchsland