The Communication field may seem broad or unclear to many students. Even I, prior to the interview for my first co-op job, was questioning how to compete against students from all types of academic backgrounds. Besides writing skills, what were managers looking for in a Communication student? Once I began my first co-op term at ZE PowerGroup, I discovered that there was a wide array of transferable skills that I had developed through my Communication studies, which were not necessarily inherent on my transcript.
Developing and Recording Business Processes
Various departments within my company wanted to either update or create materials that documented business processes for important operations, in order to ensure that organized strategies were set in place. I found the note-taking, writing, and researching skills, which I initially developed through completing assignments for classes, to be incredibly useful. We would have meetings to define concepts and develop methods for managing different operations. It was my job to attend these meetings and document information through print and visual material. In doing so, I learned how to use different types of software (such as Visio) to create intricate diagrams and had the chance to improve my organizational and technical writing skills.
Coordinating a Knowledgebase
My company’s online “Knowledgebase” was created as an online resource to educate clients about the capabilities of our products. It was my job to ensure that writers were contacted, articles were edited, underwent technical and management reviews, and were posted on time. Taking part in group projects and conducting peer reviews throughout university taught me how to effectively work with a team and provide feedback in a constructive way.
Creating Videos for Clients
The most obvious transferrable skill I’ve learned through my Communication coursework was video editing. I took an upper division Communication course (CMNS 426) where I learned how to use Adobe Premiere Pro – this gave me a solid foundation which enabled me to create and edit videos with ease. The videos I made were intended to share features of my company’s products or provide troubleshooting instructions for clients. I was assisted with the content, and was responsible for editing, getting management approval, and posting the videos.
As a Communication student, I am constantly called on to produce all and every kind of assignment: papers, in-depth research projects, presentations, debates, and different types of material for print and web display. Not only do I have to often master a subject I am unfamiliar with, but I also have to display my knowledge of it in multiple ways – through videos, brochures, PowerPoint/Prezi presentations, and reports. I know I’m not the only one who, through this faculty, has needed to be adaptive and rise to a challenge. Thankfully my experiences allowed me to seamlessly apply an array of hard and soft skills from my Communication classes to the workplace.