Choosing a major is a potentially life-changing experience that can shape the rest of your college career and life after graduation. For me, the process of choosing my major before coming to Northwestern was a bit unconventional, but I am very satisfied with the end result.
In high school, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in business; specifically in marketing. Throughout the fall and winter of my senior year, I had planned on attending the University of Illinois and majoring in Marketing in the College of Business. When I was accepted to Northwestern, I found out that there was not an undergraduate business school. I found a list of majors that undergraduate students who want to go into business at Northwestern choose, and I was intrigued by the Communication Studies major.
I saw that the Communication Studies major can be applied to a variety of business fields, particularly marketing or advertising. Classes such as public speaking appealed to me because I wanted to develop my communication skills, which are essential to any job or internship. Other coursework includes theory-based classes such as theories of argumentation and persuasion, along with more media-focused courses.
The major is housed in the School of Communication, which for me has been one of the greatest resources available here at Northwestern for searching for internships and for developing relationships with faculty. The world-renowned faculty in the Communication Studies department was another draw for me to the major. I also plan to complete the Digital Media Module within the major; a series of courses followed by a capstone project that I think will be useful to obtaining a job in marketing in such a technology-focused time.
In my case, I decided to combine my Communication Studies major with a double major in Economics and a certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications. I love how creative I can be in my Communication Studies and Integrated Marketing Communications courses, but I enjoy getting to develop my analytical and quantitative skills through my Economics major. I think that the Communication Studies major can easily be combined with a variety of other majors to help you develop your communication skills to be a well-rounded applicant for jobs or internships.
Kaitlyn Lannan is a sophomore at Northwestern University. She is majoring in economics and communication and plans on attending business school. Her dream job is becoming Chief Marketing Officer at a Fortune 500 company. You can find Kaitlyn on Twitter at @KaitlynLannan.