This past year I had the honour of (finally) obtaining my degree in Media Communications from my University. Naturally, you would assume that I would be confident, prepared, and ready to enter the real world ... I was not.
The thing is, I never realized how unprepared I truly was until I began this course at Mohawk College. Starting the program I had assumed that I would be at a little bit of an advantage from my previous 4 years in learning Communications at a University level. Unfortunately, I learned really quickly that was not the case. In the spirit of completely honest and transparent communication (it's a PR thing) I will happily admit that I felt as though I learned nothing throughout my University career. Starting this new program and immediately learning hands on aspects of how to do the everyday tasks of a typical PR person was not something that I saw coming.
It was one of those moments where you never really knew what you were missing out on, until it was finally right there. Then, you begin to wonder how you would have ever been able to function in the PR world without this knowledge.
I will credit my University, I did learn a lot of theory and research methods in my 4 years, as well as how to write a really good paper in MLA format. But hands on, everyday skills? I was lacking.
I strongly believe that before fully committing to an educational institute you need to understand and be honest with yourself about what you want to get out of your experience. If I were too have not gone back to college, I would have entered the workforce not knowing how to write a product or announcement release. I probably wouldn't even know what a media list is or how to create them (and these are all pretty vital things). This program has not only prepared me for the workforce in ways that my degree was unable to, but it has also provided me with confidence in the skills that I have learned (and it's only been about 4 months)
Moral of the story... If you think you have any sort of advantage coming from a University background, think again.