Whenever I tell people that I’m in my final semester of college their first reaction is one of startled confusion. Then follows routine questions: “Don’t you miss your friends? Will they even let you graduate?” Yes and yes. When I began to plan my semester abroad I knew that at some point I would feel homesick. But studying abroad would provide me with opportunities I would never have back home.
One of those opportunities was attending Social Media Week, specifically the talk on Social Media Strategy – Theory vs. Reality. As a Communication student I was interested in knowing how theoretical knowledge can be applied to real life situations. What I actually learned was the history of social media (presented by Philip Macartney) and how companies can get ahead using social media (presented by Falcon Social). The most interesting thing I learned was in response to my question. Yeah, you read that right I asked a question. You can imagine my mom’s surprise.
I was curious as to whether universities are doing their best to prepare Communication students for the changing media landscape. The overwhelming response I got was that schools are, in fact, not keeping up with media trends. This means that students are learning theories that will soon mean nothing rather than giving them hands on experience. It’s ironic considering my university now requires two less theory classes in order for Communication students to graduate.
It was really exciting to hear from real world professionals talk about a subject that is often considered a hobby or something you do for fun. Social Media truly is changing the way in which we interact with businesses and friends. Who knows what the future holds for communication!