Communication Arts & Sciences
My only regret is about Communication Arts & Sciences is graduating the same year the major was being introduced!!! As I sashay into the working world I am so fortunate that I decided to pursue this minor. It is one of the first things that interviewers notice on my resume. What can I say? My CAS professors were right! This minor has helped me develop the skills to be an effective and skillful communicator. Everything I've learned in my classes I can comfortably say that I have applied to my job at GlaxoSmithKline. From giving presentations to bosses to hosting meetings with customers and other employees all over the world, such as Malaysia, Verona and London just to name a few. I don't think that I would have been able to handle some of my responsibilities if I didn't have the skills that I've acquired in my CAS classes.
The professors were amazing! They made it their passion to relay the knowledge that they had while fostering the different ideas and world views of every individual in the class. It wasn't the old "I teach, you listen" way of teaching, they challenged us and encouraged us to create our worldview by being informed and by being able to critically pick apart information. This, by far, was one of my favorite things about the CAS classes that I took, after every class I left thinking and eager.
Although it was only a minor, there were always big messages and even bigger issues that we tackled head on. In one of my 400 level classes I got the opportunity to work on a HIV/AIDS awareness project and this was one of the most defining points in my life. It was definitely a challenge, but I learned so much from the experience, like working in groups, deadlines, working with the media, change, open protest, and how powerful the voice of people my age can be. After this class and this project were over, I decided what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I remember going to Dr.Ramsey telling her that I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life and she said it would come to me. I left her office even more confused than when I went in, but she was right--it did come to me. Thank You Dr. Ramsey.
This minor has definitely re-shaped my college experience. It was a challenge and there were time that those reading assignments seemed like they would never end, and the critical questions and essays that made you slap yourself for procrastinating, but it has definitely paid off...am not there yet but I have what it takes to get there.
What can I say about my experience with CAS and CAS courses? Or rather where do I begin? I honestly feel that I was able to find a job so soon after graduation--and one that I love--due to the fact that I have a minor in Communication Arts & Sciences. In my current position as a financial specialist at Wachovia Bank you can never predict who is going to come into the financial center. I am able to communicate effectively to each one of my clients because I understand what I believe to be the most basic and simplistic message of communication theory, everyone is different: shaped by the dynamics of culture and individual experience. Having a true understanding of this I am able to provide solutions that appeal to the true value that I can bring to the customer. This makes me a more successful businesswoman and more effective communicator.
One of Wachovia's core values is diversity and I feel proud to be a part of a company that recognizes the fact that I am Black and that I am a woman rather than ignore it. I didn't know it then but those hours of analyzing what it has meant in the past to be a person of color and to be a woman in this country and what being one today means to me were an investment in the development of my self-confidence. Knowing the competitive nature of the corporate world I am not sorry for saying that I am a better writer than most of my counterparts (And I don't need to tell you how important writing skills are when it is time to write a REAL resume). I credit this in half to the nights I would tackle Dr. Ramsey?s weekly assignments with the reading in one hand and a dictionary in the other. And in half to the nights I spent constructing critical responses that I thought would measure up to the high standards set for 400-level CAS courses. Now when the pressure is on at work, I barely break a sweat. During my time at Berks the decision to major in Business and minor in Communications was clearly one of my most profound and for it I have no regrets, I do wonder now how my life would be different if one of my options had been to major in CAS considering the practical skills and direction that just a few courses have instilled in me.
I would like to say that the CAS courses really did open my eyes to various issues that we are facing today as well as past issues. I think for me I am especially able to apply health communication to my working in the hospital setting (ie. patient narratives, etc). As for Intercultural communication, there is so much that I was able to carry with me into my career.
I learned a lot about gender communication in most of my CAS courses. It really is interesting to have the differences pointed out and now as I go through life, I notice them more and more. I also learned what is important when communicating with all different types of people, the way language can be used differently and the different meanings behind symbols, gestures, etc. The classes really point out things you see everyday, but think of as a normal part of life. I liked the eye-opening experiences each of my CAS courses gave me. My health communication class was especially helpful to me in my internship and will be very beneficial while trying to enter the medical field. Unlike many other doctors I was able to participate in an internship pointing out the various ways doctors lack communication skills, I also learned this in the health communication class. I think communication classes are a fun way to learn highly important points of life, they were always my favorite courses, besides my sciences of course!
Last week I was looking at the curriculum at Pennsylvania College of Osteopathic Medicine for the Doctor of Osteopathic program and one of the courses incorporated into the third year there has to do with communications between patients and staff. I took Health Communication and it was one of the best courses that I am glad that I took. It really did help me and will help me when I begin medical school. But any communications course is helpful no matter what issues it focuses on because in the end it gets incorporated into our daily life while at the same time broadening our knowledge. Communication Arts & Sciences is so beneficial in the real world. I know it is helping me, in school and at work.
Can you believe that I got a position as a customer service manager at Redner's just because I had a minor in CAS?! The store manager did not know what it was at first, but after I explained to him the nature of the study in communications, he was impressed, and I got the job immediately! NICE!!!?
I wish that (the BA degree in CAS) would've been around for me so I could've done CAS as a major instead of a minor. I almost want to stay at school for a couple more years to get the CAS major! As far as all of the CAS courses that I've taken so far, I've loved them all because it wasn't much lecture, it was pretty much dealing as a whole class and discussing the many issues of communication that are out there. It's good to know whenever I take a CAS class that I'll like it and get a lot out of it. The good thing for me with having CAS as a minor for my business major, it'll help me out when getting some jobs because I'll be able to have those communications skills as an added bonus to my major.
I really enjoyed the presentations because it broke the fear I had for public speaking and now it is really easy for me to speak to an audience unlike before CAS lessons.
I think the skills I have learned in Communication Arts & Sciences are things that can be well applied to my future aspirations. I feel like I have received a well rounded education because of the topics that are openly addressed in the classroom. The faculty within the department has always been helpful, which to me is the most important thing. I have been lucky enough to have worked with many of them and they have always been helpful and encouraging.
Communication Arts & Sciences has allowed me to study various topics as well as specific aspects of those topics. There is a certain amount of freedom in this program because as a student you can rhetorically study anything that interests you as long as it relates to the central ideas of communication. I have achieved a lot through the CAS program. Currently, through the research project I completed for my American Studies degree, I am organizing a curriculum about healthcare and young workers to actually present to the young workers of the community. I never envisioned that I would be at where I am at when I started the CAS minor. I have learned about effectively communicating ideas and thoughts to employers, or any audience that you are trying to reach. I have also worked on my public speaking skills and therefore present myself more confidently in the workforce. The teachers are all wonderful and are on top of the current research in the Communication discipline. They are able to help organize yourself for a successful career in Communication Arts & Sciences and life in general.
I liked the CAS minor because the classes were different from the norm. There weren't any formulas or absolutes, my view points and opinions actually mattered. The CAS classes never get boring, there's always some interesting debate or discussion going on from the color red to politics. The professors really care about the subject matter and it translates when they teach with passion and devotion. The CAS minor has helped me in my current advertising career by allowing me to understand the view points, cultures and beliefs of others, helping me create better advertising campaigns.
Daniel Berg, II:
The CAS program helped prepare me for a competitive job market by providing me with both a practical and theoretical understanding of communication. The knowledge acquired via the CAS program has also sharpened my professional and personal communication skills. I feel confident in my ability to successfully communicate and relate to an increasingly diverse global population. Furthermore, the knowledgeable and friendly CAS faculty made my time at Penn State Berks both academically and personally rewarding.