Reflections on CAP 220

Yeah, I’m definitely cut out to be an advertising major (with a studio art minor- fun, right?). The Fundamentals of Public Relations course I’m wrapping up this week has confirmed this.

Naturally, there’s a lot of crossover between the fields of advertising and public relations, so it’s good to have this experience. But, while I am a pretty people-oriented person, I tend to gravitate toward the creative, visual aspect of marketing. Not so much the event planning and coordination and relationship building.

I have a long, long history as an artist. When I was 3, I scribbled some green marker on yellow construction paper circles and hung them on the Christmas tree as handcrafted ornaments. When I was 7, I remember being officially dubbed “the class artist,” which is quite possibly the single greatest title any elementary school teacher can bestow upon her young pupil. My high school years were spent in the depths of the studio rooms at Dakota High School, messing with clay or paint or whatever material I could get my grubby, creation-hungry hands on.

I’ve also always been an idea person. I like ideas. Generating them, discussing them, hearing them, debating them, curating them, executing them.

So I guess I’m in the right field(s), eh?

I learned some very useful skills and concepts from this course, particularly from the in-class discussions and demonstrations; the readings and assignments supplemented these sessions well. I feel I particularly excelled in the coming up of ideas (duh) and the graphic design elements of my plan book (also duh). One of my favorite things was coming up with a budget and sticking to it, then creating a spreadsheet for it. It was also good to brush up on my primary and secondary research skills.

One thing I struggled with was the sheer differences between advertising and public relations. Sometimes I’d come up with an idea, and try to explain it, then get stuck on whether or not what I was describing actually constituted as PR. I also find press releases somewhat uninteresting (then again, I’ve never written nor been involved in one).

A skill I’m particularly glad I honed, that I can really apply in the real world, is blogging. I’ve never been a real blogger (read: tumblr), but I enjoy writing journalistic articles for funsies every once in awhile, so blogging was sort of an outlet for that hobby of mine. Now that I understand the uses and ways of blogging, I’ll be sure to continue it into the future.

As much of a challenge as it was, I greatly enjoyed CAP 220 at Grand Valley. It’s a personal philosophy of mine that it is always imperative that one be willing to step outside the comfort zone of what one “knows” or believes to know; your education doesn’t stop when you leave the classroom. Diverse experiences are essential for one’s fulfillment of a rich life and career. As an advertising student, I try to immerse myself in events, classes, and organizations based around disciplines outside of my major- such as art, PR, language, marketing, and nonprofit administration- whenever possible, and carefully choose my electives to reflect this. I strongly suggest you do the same.

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