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Communication internships provide valuable job experience
|Student Jamie Meador presents her communication internship portfolio during a meeting called “What Can You Do With A Communication Major?”, led by BPC communications professor Dr. Don Wallace. (Photo provided)
MOUNT VERNON—Communication majors at Brewton-Parker College were busy putting their classroom skills to work this summer, as reported during a meeting of communication students on campus last week. Students described their internship experiences and presented portfolios of work-related communications applications from their respective job experiences in a meeting entitled “What Can You Do With A Communication Major?” led by communications professor Dr. Don Wallace.
According to Dr. Wallace, most communication majors complete an internship in an area of interest during their senior year. The purpose of the internship is to apply what they have learned about communication to a specific job responsibility. Students also learn a great deal about communication that they don’t learn in the classroom. To receive credit for the internship, students must write daily reports, submit material weekly, document their hours, and demonstrate the application of communication knowledge in a portfolio of the work completed. The internship provides a “capstone” experience effectively synthesizing their academic work and job interests.
This summer, six communication majors logged over 4,300 hours of work, which gave them valuable experience for their resumes. The internships also demonstrated the usefulness of communication in many areas where a communication degree would be a wonderful preparation for a career. The six interns and their responsibilities were: Jonathan Lewis – Youth Ministry/Media Communication; Dereck Johnson – Educational Tours/Event Planning; Jamie Meador – Missions; Kimberly Knighton – TeamEffort/Mission Coordinator; Hayley Boisseau - Student Activities/Event Planning; and, Greg Coursey – Alumni relations/Public Relations.
These students reported very positive experiences with their internships. The following are individual summaries:
- Jonathan Lewis worked at Shirley Hills Baptist Church in Warner Robins where he learned a great deal about public relations and media communication. He showed an impressive video he produced to promote missions and other church programs. He reported that church staff members realize the importance of communication in ministry, pointing out that “Three out of six of our staff members received their undergrad degree in communications.” He went on to say, “I truly believe that these men have a knowledge and understanding of what ministry is. It’s not simply an occupation. It’s building relationships. It’s dealing with people. It’s communication.”
- Jamie Meador also worked in a church-related internship at North Lanier Baptist Church in Cumming for a missions program. Jamie stated that she learned her most valuable skills working with the media team. “I was able to learn how to work with a Mac operating system creating DVD presentations, picture presentations, and website design. The DVD and picture presentations will help me create publications for the mission field to send back home about the work going on, prayer requests, and how they can get involved.” Jamie shared some of her work and pictures during the meeting. She was also able to travel overseas, which allowed her to successfully apply for the Journeyman program of the International Mission Board. “Taking this internship provided me the opportunity to go twice to two very different places and experience different cultures … Without this summer I may have never had such amazing opportunities. I also would not have gained the experience I needed to be accepted into the program.”
- Kimberly Knighton did her internship with TEAMeffort, a mission-camp organization that brings youth groups together with building and renovation projects. She was a team leader and feels that her communications classes prepared her for the experience. “I felt very prepared for what occurred this summer because of the classes I have taken at BPC. This summer I not only used skills that I learned in my Interpersonal, Group, and Public Speaking classes, but also Oral Interpretation, Photojournalism, and Glimpses of Truth.” (Glimpses of Truth is a drama ministry under the direction of the Communication program.) “These classes came to be very useful when I ran the chapel services, spoke in chapel, took pictures for slideshows given every night, and also read for the skits we did. I used many of the problem solving skills taught in the Interpersonal and Group classes.”
- Dereck Johnson worked with EDEJ Networking which provides an exchange program for students studying in Trinidad and Tobago. Dereck reflected, “As a communication student, I felt that an internship as an administrator would be perfect as the job involves mostly communication.” Dereck realized that his communication background had influenced him more than he realized. “Looking back at the internship, I came to the conclusion that the theories and principles that I did in the classroom have become a part of me. Communication in the classroom varies from the real world because in the real world you are no longer dealing with classmates but the confidence that has been instilled goes a long way in the real world. Knowing how to handle situations is 75 percent of the battle.”
- Greg Coursey became very familiar to many BPC alumni working in the Office of Alumni Relations this summer. Greg contacted former communication students and laid the groundwork for a Communication Alumni newsletter. Greg was impressed by the favorable comments that students made about their experiences in communication at BPC. His internship will also be used to demonstrate the usefulness of the communication degree in various career fields. Greg said in his report, “Probably the most important thing I learned from my internship, and definitely the most interesting thing, was about all the different jobs people are doing with their communication degrees. It was good for me to be able to see the various areas of employment that communication majors go into because I am honestly very undecided about what kind of job I want to do. Finding out more specific jobs that can be done with a degree in communications has given me lots of ideas about future possibilities. Communication alumni have jobs within politics, athletics, churches, insurance agencies, schools, acting, and several other areas. I think this shows that the communication department at Brewton-Parker College does a great job of preparing students for a wide array of professions.”
- Hayley Boisseau spent many hours this summer helping coordinate Orientation for new students at BPC. She also completed some of her hours working in the Office of Admissions. Hayley also felt that her internship was a valuable supplement to her classroom education stating, “I am quite certain that what I learned could never have been taught in a classroom or learned by a CD program. It was truly an experience that could only be learned by being a part of it.” Hayley also made an interesting observation about the need for communication on campus by reflecting, “Brewton-Parker College could improve by using communication skills effectively. I think the school, in its entirety, would benefit if employees were offered interpersonal communication workshops. I think it is easy to become so task-oriented that we forget we are working with other human beings, and they are also trying to accomplish tasks and have feelings.” Hayley also recommended “recruiting” and “event planning” as good career choices for communication majors.
Dr. Wallace concluded, saying, “These reports from our interns were a great opportunity for communication majors to show off their work and demonstrate areas where Communication majors can get a job. I am very proud of all the work they accomplished and the positive impact they have made on so many lives.”