The Truth About Switching from News & Information to Strategic Communication
Since stepping onto campus as a freshman I have experienced many changes, including figuring out what exactly I want to do. One of my biggest fears when coming to college was waking up one day and suddenly realizing that the work I was doing wasn’t for something that I wanted, that my major was wrong, that my work wasn’t good enough or even that my entire career was completely the wrong choice for me. What I didn’t realize at that time was just how quickly I would be able to figure out the changes that I needed to make.
The first realization that dawned on me while sitting in my very first journalism lecture was that I had come to Ohio University with a fixed mindset about wanting to be a writer. I wanted to tell peoples’ stories and make a difference, no matter what that difference was. I made myself believe that the News and Information track was where I belonged. Within a few weeks, I’ve seen that limiting myself to what I think I should be doing instead of being open to new possibilities is not the way to go. In the short amount of time I have been here, I’ve gained an invaluable understanding of how communications is changing, and how the world is changing as well. Many journalism students make the switch from News and Information to Strategic Communication, and I made the bold decision to join them. I’ve realized that being a reporter, broadcaster or news anchor is just not the right fit for me, and that it’s totally okay. I obviously deeply respect the work of News and Information majors, and still love the excitement and determination of breaking a story or uncovering a news scandal. However, after joining student organizations such as PRSSA and ImPRessions, I have been exposed to a new type of journalism, one that I was a bit apprehensive toward, but have grown to truly enjoy.
In the fall of last year, I had an opportunity to visit Marcus Thomas, an agency in Cleveland who did a lot of work for various clients. It was the first time I had ever set foot inside of an agency and seen what the environment was like (which was pretty incredible since they’re allowed to bring dogs to work). I was able to speak with people actually involved in the field, hear their stories and listen to some of their experiences. I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed being there, but also how much I didn’t really know about PR. Combine that experience with the new things I have begun to learn at OU and bam—here I am, one day away from switching my to the Strategic Communication track.
Everything that defined me when I came to campus reigns true. I love to write and work with people, and want to be able to cause change in the world and spark new ideas. Journalism is my passion and has been from a very young age. Through the classes I’m taking and the organizations I’ve joined, I have an understanding that through PR I can promote people and causes that I’m concerned about while working collaboratively with others. I can be responsible for exposing new information and helping other voices get noticed. Even though I know this will be a new transition, especially one where I will constantly have to be open to new ideas and effective communication, I am so excited to begin a slightly different journey than I had expected. That is what I believe college should be about, figuring it all out as you go and becoming a better learner and person in the end. I am excited to see the person I become.
Livi Wise is a Freshman Strategic Communication Major. Follow her on Twitter @LiviWise!