I have learned a lot about the advertising/communications industry as an advertising student at Temple University. I’ve gained many useful skills for (hopefully) helping me achieve a successful career as a professional in communications, mostly through classwork and homework.
I am ashamed to say it wasn’t till recently, when I began my internship, that I realized how much I can learn on my own , independent of my classes and classwork. For example, I have a copy writing track in advertising, so naturally I was never required to learn design programs like Photoshop, this became a problem when the agency needed someone at the office to create eye-catching pictures for a new clients Facebook posts. The pictures they needed were simple and easy to make, except the creative team had so much work already that they didn’t have the time to do it. That day I went to the Temple tech center after work and spent 2 hours playing around on Photoshop and taking lessons on lynda.com, by the next time I went to work I had learned enough to make posts for the client and add the skill to my resume.
I learned QuestionPro, the online survey program, while in a very similar situation where nobody else was available to help me. I also learned how to use WordPress to help me create and manage content on a website, simply by playing around with the program on my computer until I figured out how it works.
While it is important to attend classes, and learn what you can through teachers, lectures, and seminars, don’t forget how much you can also do on your own! Professional development isn’t just achieved with teachers and schoolwork, it’s also a DIY(do it yourself) project!
Just like I learned these three programs on my own you can learn so much more! As a student you have dozens of tools like lynda.com or the library to learn outside of the classroom (and if all else fails there’s probably an instructional video on youtube!)