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What are some skills needed to pursue a Business and Communications major (on the more specific spectrum)?

I've been thinking about majoring in this field for quite a while and I think I'm pretty qualified to excel in this field. I've had experience speaking to big crowds formally, I have quite a few connections not only with my peers but some adults who will also be helpful along the way, I think I have a clear voice when I want to say an idea of mine. Is there any other skills or ways to enhance my experience BEFORE I get into college? Thank you in advance! #college #business #career #college-major #finance #experience #communications #marketing

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Rebecca’s Answer

I am glad to hear that you are good at communication and interested on business. Communication is an essential skills in all careers.
In the high school, you can consider to join the debate team , speech competition, story telling competition, etc. On the other hand, would you consider to do some voluntary work, e.g. you can be teacher to help the younger children on their learning or story telling to the toddlers, etc.
On the other hand, regarding your question to polish you skills on public speaking, you can consider to attend some lessons on public speaking and communication. They would teach you the skills on public skills, e.g. the pitch, tone, facial expression, gesture, etc. Probably, they would offer you opportunities to practice as well.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
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Karen’s Answer

Hello!

A degree in communications opens doors in a multitude of fields. Being comfortable in a public speaking situation is a great skill to possess. I have a Bachelor's degree in communication and can share that there are many other skills such as critical thinking, creativity, grammar, witty, writing, story telling, project management, detail-oriented, etc. You will do classes on Social Media strategy, Management of Communication Projects, Organizational Branding, Personal Brand, Graphic Design, Storytelling for Business, Marketing, Communication Law & Ethics, to name a few.

Check out this article, it has some good info: https://www.bestchoiceschools.com/personality-traits-english-communication-majors/

Best of luck to you!
Karen


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Tony’s Answer

Lots of great answers for communications professionals! I found Toastmasters International (TI) is a great way to build communication and leadership skills. TI has thousands of clubs across the globe and it was instrumental for me in polishing speaking skills and working with others to help them achieve personal and professional goals. Check out their website here: https://www.toastmasters.org/

Communications will always be a valuable workplace skill even in non-comms professions. The ability to express oneself clearly and succinctly in ANY role is important - especially in today's world of digital communications.
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Kelly’s Answer

Public speaking is a great skill to start with! Critical thinking and strong writing skills would be two more areas to focus on. You can refine these skills through extracurricular activities like clubs, volunteering, job shadowing. Just learning how a professional setting operates and how one needs to conduct oneself in a place of business is a learned skill. I have hired interns and new professionals in the past who had never set foot in an office environment - and so learning "professional presence" cannot be underscored enough.
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Silke’s Answer

Love everyone's answers!! Completely agree with Rebecca & Jake to volunteering with different clubs. I was not into clubs in high school but I realized how valuable they can be in University and finally began volunteering for a Business Club as a Program Manager and volunteered for an Online Magazine as a Social Media Manager. I started to learn how to collaborate with other teams effectively and learned about my own working habits which was very valuable.

Great to hear you enjoy public speaking and are comfortable with that! I would also suggest honing your writing skills which will only develop further with your clear voice ;) Writing skills are super valuable in any Communications position and can be a great start, especially if you don't yet have any work experience as you can get writing experience from school and volunteer opportunities. A good start is looking at the library for any writing courses and to just start writing! One of my favorite profs made us write every day for 20 mins on whatever topic we desired just to get the creative juices flowing.

Love Michael's answer about active listening as well.
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Don’s Answer

A ton of great advice here, and I'll strongly second Teddy's Toastmasters recommendation (https://www.toastmasters.org/). It was truly transformative to my career. And kudos to you for taking the initiative to get going on your career already! You're off to a great start. Here are a few other ways you can get going:

Start by being a student -- of your craft. Read industry blogs, follow companies and professionals you admire on LinkedIn and Twitter. There are a ton of fascinating TEDx Talks about Communications (and simply, communicating), on Youtube.

Put it into practice. Start a blog, stay up on social media trends, and take your social presence seriously. It's not just a diversion -- it's important experience and practice.

Be open to change. You're just starting out, and the landscape you'll face in four, five, six or more years will probably be dramatically different than the one today. Now more than ever, it's vitally important to learn quickly and adapt accordingly. Adopting that mindset now will prepare you for college and a long, successful career in Communications. Good luck!

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Sonja’s Answer

I think it's great that you want to go into business communications! A lot of communications folks don't like "numbers" or "math," so they stick with what's comfortable - the "words." I was a journalism major / English minor for this very reason, but have built a fulfilling career in Corporate Communications. To excel in business communications, you really should have a solid understanding of business and drivers. It helps to know how to read a financial statement and understand what drives the financial results of the organization - this will also help when working with the company's executives. Strong writing skills, public speaking skills and other "communications" foundational skills are also very important.
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Nick’s Answer

Written on behalf of a group of colleagues from SAP:

- Experience with various forms of written communication will ultimately help you to become a better oral communicator/presenter
- Journaling can be a helpful way to commit your unfiltered thoughts to paper, and will allow you to use multiple perspectives. It will also be a great way to see your progress along the way
- Pay close attention to those with strong communications skills and taking notes about what works. How are they engaging the audience, what is their style of presentation, and what visuals do they use on screen and off?
- Take the initiative to take on more in-class projects where you have the opportunity to speak up
- The ability of active listening is a major key to honing your communications skills
- Focus on interdisciplinary classes as well so you can gain experience synthesizing information in areas for which you have not had the opportunity to study yet

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Jake’s Answer

I would agree with Rebecca that clubs and volunteer work will help refine the skill set needed to pursue those college majors. It's great you are already comfortable speaking in front of large crowds as that will set you apart from others. As for specific skills you want to enhance before going to college, I would say your work ethic is a must. To get through the transition from high school to college, your work ethic will be crucial to stay on top of assignments. It's a great skill to have as it will translate to the workplace.

"If you can't outsmart them, outwork them."
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Christa’s Answer

I am someone who studied Business and Journalism and now have a career in Corporate Communications. I think having an understanding of how businesses work and the tools that people in the business use (including Excel!) are great items to have content on to help you be a better communicator. Good communication skills - written, verbal, presentation - are never a bad thing whether you choose to go into a business or other field. The best thing you can do to enhance your communication skills is to practice them and do a lot of reading - read a variety of information sources and types (social media posts, editorial, opinion pieces, well written novels). Knowing what works and doesn't to tell a story / get your point across are critical skills to hone as you prepare for your career.
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Nicole’s Answer

I am a huge promoter of interships! You will learn something new with every company you intern with. You will see how different organizations are run which can help you determine how you want to help your organization run one day.
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