The pandemic has changed peoples’ lives; at minimum, made them uncertain. Students are left with questions regarding the job market and the upcoming Fall Semester. Opportunity might be hard to find, but not impossible. Communication Department Chair Phillip Clampitt, and Martha Carrigan, CEO of Big Shoes Network, share their thoughts on how students can march forward into a brighter future.
Grads – March Forward!
Martha said, “many companies are cutting spending and not hiring.” In addition to a hiring freeze, “many companies have furloughed employees and laid off 30-to-50% of their staff,” she added.
Even though the numbers look “recession like,” students should continue to look for the opportunities. “Most of the pay cuts and layoffs were at the upper levels,” Martha states. Therefore, graduates coming in at the entry level as, “less expensive talent,” might have an opportunity. She said, “creative” and “communication” skills will give graduates an upper hand.
“Crisis communication, internal/external communication, and remote-event coordination will be areas that flourish during COVID-19,” Martha said. Graduates with these skills will have many opportunities. At the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, courses like Cases in Crisis Management and Organizational Communication definitely help students learn these skills.
For Students – CAPS
“Carry On,” “Adjust” and “Perform” (CAP) are important words developed during the COVID Semester by Dr. Phil Clampitt. He recommends putting on your CAP during times of uncertainty. And even if the program must be moved online for Fall 2020, the faculty will continue to provide the “rich and robust educational experiences,” he said.
Opportunities during this time should not be hard to find either. “Digital collaboration” that might not have been a student’s strongest skill is now enhanced. Phil said, “this crisis should give students a new and refined tool to navigate in an increasingly mediated world.” But it also has a downside that needs to be considered. “Students might de-value information that only can be gleaned during face-to-face communication,” Phil said.
The class schedule will move forward as planned for the Fall 2020. Classes, advisor meetings, and leadership roles will all be open for students, even if the “alternative-method” of learning continues.
What does this mean for me?
Phil Clampitt came up with Four Key Tips for 2020 graduates, but they apply to undergrads as well!
- NETWORK: – Join PRSSA or PRSA (for those graduating); create a LinkedIn profile; and socially keep up with your fellow Comm grads! Check out NEW PR’s podcast with Danielle Shea, Marketing and Communication Director of theYMCA/YWCA in Iowa, where she talks about how she networked into her job right out of college!
- Focus on Industry Opportunities: – People are embracing technology! Amazon, FedEx, Instacart, and industries that can embrace technology are hiring.
- “Create a Digital Portfolio” – Check out Danielle Weber’s digital portfolio; she is a past president of PRSSA at UWGB.
- Showcase how you SUCCESSFULLY worked from home! How you have become a ZOOM Master; be prepared to show how you flourished in real, online collaboration and group work. – Check out Emily’s at-home workstation!
Written By: Matthew Knoke 54.9 | 8.5
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