University of Minnesota

Communication Studies Student Profile

Name: Lauren Johnson
Anticipated Graduation Year:
Major: Communication Studies

How and why did you choose your major?

I took a class through CAPE (OUE2100) during my first semester on campus. This really gave me the opportunity to research major options. I was also enrolled in a communications course that semester and ended up loving it and wanted to continue. I also really liked the wide range of career options that this major leaves me with, especially because the skills that I am learning I will be able to apply in any career.

Please give a description (in your words) of your major including the things you learn, favorite classes, and any challenges you have faced.

There are three main areas of study in the communication studies department including rhetorical studies, media studies, and a more theoretical or interpersonal track. This is the first semester that I have really branched out into all of the concentrations, which has been a really cool experience and has given me a different perspective of my major. I really have absolutely loved all of my communications courses that I have taken. In fact, two courses that are required I was dreading having to take this semester, but they turned out to me my favorite classes. Some of the communications courses I have taken in the past include small group communication, nonverbal communication, interpersonal communication, introduction to communication theory, introduction to rhetorical theory, US electronic media, and organizational communication. The biggest challenge I have faced in my major is probably the class size. Not all communications courses will be large lectures- there are many classes that are about 20ish students including public speaking, small group communication, and analysis of argument, but since it is a fairly popular major the result is some pretty large lectures. It can make it difficult to get to know your professor or even the teaching assistants. However, this allows me to meet new people in my major with each new class I take.

What types of experiences outside of the classroom have you had relating to your major? (i.e. clubs, jobs, internships, volunteering, study abroad etc.)

I participate in the Communication Studies Association (CSA). It is really cool to hear from professionals in the field, alumni, and even tour various organizations.

In your opinion, what is one thing, or one piece of advice that other students pursuing your major should know?

My advice to other students is to take a course in the communications department that is something different from what they think they are interested in. Because I took a couple of courses outside what I thought was my only area of interest in the communications department I'm now considering different career paths than I was previously.

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