Exit Essay

Randy Otis
12/1/2012
Comm 499 Exit Essay
The Carroll Years

During my time at Carroll I’ve received a plethora of communication knowledge that has given me the skills to confidently enter the business world. I started my Carroll career focusing on Public Relations. I also took a liking to marketing and how both PR and Marketing are somewhat intertwined. PR taught me the importance of being precise and accurate when you are representing a group of people. The lessons focused on how to spin controversial issues into a positive light connected with me immediately. I often find myself trying to find a silver lining for every situation. In marketing classes I focused on demographics and how to target a group of people from a business perspective. Learning about demographics and target markets sparked my interest in technical and business styles of writing. I like to think that I have a diverse skill set, one side of me is business, and the other is focused on relationships and interpersonal communication. I have always been a very open minded person when it relates to politics, religion and education. That’s why I ultimately decided to pursue a liberal arts degree in communication. I immediately liked the focus on Communication law and research based classes. These styles of courses combined with cultural based courses, and a few business classes in-between was the well rounded education that I was looking for. During the progression of this exit essay I will discuss a few of the classes that inspired me, and how those classes allowed me to understand what career field I wanted to work in. I will finish by explaining how the knowledge I’ve learned has assisted me during the beginning of my career.
Prior to transferring to Carroll I took a cultural based communication class at Northern Michigan University called Communication and Art in Africa. I went into the class expecting a map based history education of Africa. I was happily surprised to finally understand the power of communication and art. The class focused on how communication mediums like music, radio broadcasts, and theater helped spread AIDS awareness to the people in Africa. There’s still a negative connotation to speaking about AIDS in Africa. People don’t want to admit they have the disease and don’t want to or don’t have the means to pro actively educate themselves on how to prevent the disease. The younger generation of Africans needed to and still needs to be taught about AIDS. What better way to reach people then to perform plays about it, write songs and outwardly speak about the disease. Prior to this class I didn’t understand the power of the written word, and the power of publishing. The written word can inspire a group of people and can be circulated easily. Without being able to publish stories of survivors, and medical advice, thousands more would contract the disease. The music created to spread the word was also important. We were able to see African singers and hear slam poetry from Africans that highlighted the passion of their message. This class made me really love the cultural side of communication. I enjoyed learning about how other cultures differ from us in their communication styles. That knowledge helped me better understand my own culture and surroundings.
I started my college career at Carroll U taking Intro to Journalism, which taught me the fundamentals of technical writing. This class taught me to be detail oriented and precise when writing. I use this tool daily in my career. When sending emails in the corporate world you have to be clear and concise. I learned the ability to limit my word count while communicating efficiently. As technology has progressed it’s interesting to reflect on how much journalism has changed. It’s no longer writing in newspapers and magazines. The majority of journalism is done online through blogs, social media and online post forums. It seems like the art of technical writing and journalism is being lost in tweets and blogs. On the positive side current news and information is available in the palm of your hand.
During my 2010 semester I found Comm Law to be one of my favorite classes. The ability to polish my public speaking was my favorite aspect of the class. I loved to debate and research communication related court cases. Dr. Daily pushed me focus on key points in the laws and to find loopholes that would give you a competitive advantage to debate or litigation. I use this tool in my everyday life when I try to sell product. Part of my job focuses on sales and establishing positive business relationships. Business relationships can often parish as a result of miscommunication with a customer. It’s important to be firm but fair while you’re either on the selling or buying side of the situation. Dr. Dailey taught me a life lesson. If you’re prepared to speak, you will be confident. And confidence is everything in litigation.
The liberal arts major allowed me to learn a little bit about a lot of topics. This format of learning is much like my job. I have to wear many different hats at work. Some days I’m doing customer service related work, other days I’m taking a sales role, and other days I act as a liaison between my customers and our sales and operations teams. What better major in school to prepare me than the liberal arts communication degree? I’ve used the researched based classes to aid me in the analytical portion of my job. I have to solve service failure related issues daily. Running data reports and researching historical solutions and action plans help me solve current issues. Without the understanding of how to gather and analyze data I wouldn’t be as effective in my analyzing role as I am today. Classes related to interpersonal communication, and culture helped me understand how to talk to people in a business setting. You have to be sensitive about what you’re saying to people in a corporate setting. When I manage my team I try to be firm but fair. Finding that happy medium can be tough, especially when you have a disciplinary situation. I have to take a different approach to managing each person on my team because of the different personality traits.
I couldn’t be happier about the classes I’ve taken at CU. Many students today are upset that they have to take classes that don’t relate to their career choice. I feel that each class offered a specific skill set that not only helps me in my career, but my everyday life.

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About Randy Otis

My goal is to help everyone understand what i've learned and how i've progressed through different learning experiences at Carroll University.

Posted on December 14, 2012, in Carroll University Portfolio. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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