Over the past three years I’ve found myself being asked this question a lot, and I know I’m not the only one who’s had a hard time answering. It’s become sort of a running joke within my program, “what is professional communication?”…“well what isn’t?!”. I think it’s finally time we clear this up.
Let’s start with the fact that we call ourselves ProCom, mostly because Professional Communication is just really long, and sort of pretentious sounding in conversation. Also, if you were to say our full name, please never add an “S” to the end of Communication.
If the faculty were to describe our program they would say Professional Communication “is the study and practice of written, oral, visual and media communication practices within organizations or ‘fields’ such as healthcare, law, government, business, advertising, science, and technology.”
Now if students were to describe our program, which i’ve asked them to via our giant Facebook group, we get some different types of answers…
This is where it starts to get confusing. Basically as a student in the program I get to tailor (no pun intended), it to my own interests. Each semester we usually have two required courses and from there can pick three or four more courses within different categories (ie. liberals, etc). Students in the program have used this flexibility to fill their schedule with courses in theatre, biology, journalism, business and anything else you can image. So, how is it possible that someone who is minoring in biology and someone who is minoring in graphic design are interested in the same major, and are receiving the same benefits and will ultimately graduate with the same degree?
This is because communication is everything. Yes, I literally mean everything. We are the chameleons of the industry. One of our primary focuses is learning transferable skills. We build on our foundation of on the basics of written, oral and visual communication to create a portfolio of experience by the end of our four years. No matter what industry you plan to head into for your career employers appreciate expertise in traditional communication forms, as well as our insight and ability to easily adapt into new media and emerging communication platforms like social media.
Learn more about ProCom and the actual classes you would take here.