Connecting the Dots: Career Kickstart program featured in Provost Report

Programs offered by the UW Department of Communication were featured in this month’s Provost Report on trends and issues. The May 2015 report focused on “Connecting the Dots: Linking Academic Passion to Life and Profession.”

“A University of Washington education provides students with deep learning across disciplines and a range of professionally useful skills. And yet, many students don’t know what they know, or how it applies to the rest of their lives,” said Gerald Baldasty, Interim Provost and Executive Vice President; Professor, Department of Communication. “We want to make sure students have that aha moment — that epiphany when they realize that what they are learning in classes has applications outside of the classroom.”

Among programs like the History Fellows Program, the Dance Senior Seminar, and Capstones as Real-Life Applications in the Jackson School of International Studies, the Department of Communication’s Career Kickstart program was featured on pages six and seven.

“Students a lot of times will only think there’s a small range of jobs they can have, but then they go on our trips and see there are so many different roles at these companies,” said Arianna Aldebot, Director of Student Leadership.

These trips in reference are the Career Exploration opportunities offered by the Department to show students real work spaces and help them build a network outside of the University. Aldebot has also helped revamp the internship program for undergraduate students and has encouraged a strengthened link between alumni and students through the Alumni Board and Professional Development Workshops.

Communication faculty also saw this time as an opportunity to improve student engagement inside the classroom. One example is the creation of COM 494: Careers in Communication.

“We wanted something in the curriculum that gives students a chance to think concretely about applying their University learning to a career environment,” said David Domke, Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication. “Sometimes students want to dive deep over several weeks in a group setting to process what it means to even think about a career.”

Read the full Provost Report and hear from Professor Nancy Rivenburgh and juniors Ashley Walls and Thomas Nguyen.