Beyond the Classroom
Practical experiences are not limited to the classroom. All communication majors will be required to complete three hours of practicum credit and at least one hour of internship credit.
Outside the Classroom
From internships and practicums to on-campus programs like AcesTV and campus radio station WUEV-91.5 FM, communication students have numerous opportunities to put their skills to practical use.
Underclassmen begin acquiring real-world skills early through practicums, often with the university's radio station, WUEV, the student newspaper, The Crescent, or the campus yearbook, The LinC. Practicum experiences are also available in the University Relations, Sports Information, and Admissions Departments on campus. Upperclassmen can also participate in the development of their own explorative independent study courses.
Students can participate in a variety of stimulating professional internships with local, regional, national and international organizations. The department offers purposeful experiences outside the traditional media outlets, so students are more versatile. A few examples of local internship placements that build a diverse set of skills are:
- Berry Plastics, a leading manufacturer of injection-molded plastic packaging, thermoformed products, flexible films and tapes and coatings. SABIC, one of the world’s leading manufactures of chemicals, fertilizers, plastics and metals.
- Mead Johnson Nutrition, the world’s leading nutrition company for babies and children
- Vectren Corporation, an energy holding company
- Alcoa, one of the largest aluminum smelting and fabricating facilities in the world.
- Deaconess Health System, a health care provider with six hospitals and over 20 primary care locations and several specialty facilities
- Old National Bank, multibank holding company
April Dugger, a senior Communication major, is fascinated by how people think and interact, which is why she feels a career in marketing or communications would suit her well. She is also interested in how the strategies of marketing, advertising and visual communications can impact complex combinations of people.
Knowing the experiential opportunities available to her, April has participated in two internships at Vectren Corporation and Mead Johnson Nutrition. At Vectren, April worked as a corporate communications intern to execute such projects as: a company-wide wellness initiative, advertisements for efficiency upgrades to customers, company public relations output, and the company’s annual graduation booklet publication. “At Vectren I was able to expand upon a broad range of skills I will need in my future career,” she said. “I was able to design multiple pieces utilizing essential design programs and also develop text for various projects. I also gained a great amount of knowledge about business organizational skills and how to work as a team.” In the summer of 2012, April worked as a corporate sales communications intern within Mead Johnson’s Sales Operations department to support and communicate with the Medical Sales Force and the Retail Sales Organization. She also helped produce weekly newsletters to these two organizations, and became involved in various research and development projects for new communications platforms in sales and retail.
Her experience as an intern has also taught her the importance of being globally minded. “I would recommend that students try to study abroad in Latin America if possible,” she said. “Especially for a global company like Mead Johnson Nutrition and many other companies, Latin America is becoming a very prominent market place.”
As all students are encouraged to do, April has been involved on campus serving as the Associate Producer for Advertising for Aces TV, the Vice President for Chapter Development for Alpha Omicron Pi, and being a member of Phi Eta Sigma, Order of Omega, 91.5 WUEV, and National Society for Collegiate Scholars.
When asked if she was prepared to to enter the workforce, she replied, “I think a better question to ask is ‘Am I ready for the ride of a lifetime?!’ Her experiences outside the classroom have shown how the current workforce is dynamic and rapidly changing. “It can be a scary place at times, but I believe that if I continue to be eager to learn and willing to adapt I will come out unscathed,” she said. “As long I keep up with the fast pulse of new technology and organizations, I will meet my ultimate career goals.”