It Starts With A Good Foundation

It Starts With A Good Foundation

By: Fiona Li | Communication Co-op Student
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It’s safe to say that most Communication students have no idea what our jobs are going to be like. Our most developed skills are critical thinking, the ability to skim through papers at super speed, and applying the knowledge we somehow managed to absorb into a 2000-word report written just as fast. However, going into my 4th year in the Communication program, I was still unsure as to what exactly my skills are. I had all this knowledge of the political economy and of the injustices in the world, but I couldn’t figure out how any of that could transfer as an employable skill.

About 4 months ago, I was hired onto SFU's Student Experience Initiative (SEI), which is funded by the university to improve the student experience during the journey towards a degree. I've read a ton of literature and studied SFU student surveys on the topic of student experience in higher education, but none of them provided an exact solution. It was up to the initiative (and me) to apply these theories towards effective solutions that were unique to SFU. It was at this point that I realized the Communications program has prepared me well to tackle this complexity.

Student discussion and involvement is a key focus of the student experience initiative.

Student discussion and involvement is a key focus of the student experience initiative.

Here are just few of the skills I’m appreciated for:

  • Being taught to always dig deep through the various courses on equality and injustices, I understand that the stakeholders of our initiative have much in common as students of SFU, but unique as individuals; so they need to be treated as such.
  • With my knowledge of the current state of our political economy, I am able to tackle intimidating obstacles such as the disengagement, desensitization, and disassociation that exists among our student body.
  • Most importantly, I know and cherish the opportunity to really listen to others from their perspectives.

So to those who have their doubts about the applicability of the skill set we gain in Communications, I totally feel you. Even now, I am constantly looking to learn new skills to boost my employability, but I can confidently say that being a Communication student has equipped me with the best possible foundation. As creative problem solvers, and as critical thinkers, I am optimistic about our future as competitive professionals. With a solid base, we can build ourselves to become great at whatever we choose to do.


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Posted on July 26, 2018