Written by: Meredith Carlsen, AAE of CWU’s College of Arts and Humanities
I would bet that most universities throughout Washington have similar Communication programs. Yes, Central Washington University has the only specific Public Relations program (Go Wildcats)- but every other large public or private school can offer similar classes and the same level of accreditation. I would even go as far as to say that once we take off our cap and gown and enter the job market, employers will not care about where you got your degree, as long as you have one.
What I DO think makes all the world of difference is how much YOU put into your education. Two individuals could leave the exact same program with entirely different levels of maturity and knowledge.
I’m not perfect, or near it. I don’t have a 4.0. I’m not a head account executive or even the team leader on every project. But what I do have is 100% confidence that when I graduate in just a little over a month; I can walk away knowing that I put all of the heart, tears, hard work and library hours in that I possibly could while at CWU. I took advantage of opportunities like having spent three quarters in Agency (a student run PR firm), two quarters in the Observer (student run newspaper), an extensive internship working for CWU’s Combined Fund Drive, and I worked diligently to maintain A’s and B’s in all of my PR classes.
The hands on experience gained in these opportunities have helped me transition my skills learned in the lecture setting, to the professional field- just with some mentors and peers to hold my hand and catch me if I slip.
Hands-on experience aside, I would also encourage youngins’ to connect with peers and professors in the classroom. When you build yourself a support system to keep you motivated and accountable, you are going to do well.
I’m not an advocate for the “C’s get degrees” slogan. I could have just passed my classes. I could have taken just the mandatory requirements. But CWU offers so much more- so it’s ridiculous to not reach higher. I think that we owe that to ourselves (and to our bank accounts that are probably flashing negatives from the cost of college tuition).
I am not trying to toot my own horn. I think that I can advocate on the belief that if you give something everything you have; your experience will be a million times more rewarding than if you had just breezed through the last four years.
It’s worth it. I strongly encourage you to make the most out of your time in CWU’s PR program. You can walk away ahead of the game if you work your butt off. Remember this: