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When I first thought of what I wanted to do with my life after college, the first thing I thought of was helping people. The next step in deciding what I wanted to do with my life was to exam how I could accomplish this goal. I started pondering and I was thinking about how much I love to take care of my body. Health care and personal hygiene has always been an important factor in my life. So I decided to major in Health Science. With this major, I will be able to further my education in ways to be healthy and possibly learn how to help others. I decided that being a health physician or nutritionist was something that I was really interested in. This is where communication studies came in. I figured that if I minor in communication studies, I could improve my oral and written communication to better help in my future of nutrition.
Communication studies was a good pick for me because, although there is always room for improvement, I can still garnish some more knowledge and information to better improve my oral skills. My personality will really fit into the communication department. I have been told about how fun the communication department can be, and how outgoing people are in the department. I initially liked this a lot because I am very outgoing myself and love to talk to people. I feel that I can be able to exhibit concise messages to people, clearly and efficiently.
Communication is defined in the book as "a systematic process in which individuals interact with and through symbols to create and interpret meaning." (Wood, p.9). The definition can be broken down into four separate parts and they are as follows: process, systematic, symbols, and meaning. Process means that communication is ongoing and always in motion. Systematic focuses on how communication involves a group of interrelated parts that affect one another. Symbols are described as abstract, arbitrary, and ambiguous representations of other things. The key note on symbols is that they do not only include all language, but also include an important aspect of communication which is non-verbal. The fourth and final focus is meaning and is considered the heart of communication. The great thing about meaning is that we create it.
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Communication is essential in certain fields where talking and listening are central. I noticed that the book said that many attorneys, counselors, business people, and teachers have majored or minored, which is what I am doing, in communication before moving on to specified fields of study. I found this to be very interesting. I feel that the counseling job is most comparable to what I want to do, and I feel that this degree will definitely help me in that area of profession. It is very important that people understand that success in most professions is directly correlated to having top-notch communication skills.
I decided to take communications 101 and found out real quick that there was a lot more to speech communications than I had realized. I learned many things in my first class and I am excited to take some more classes in this department. I feel that taking interviewing through the communication department is one class that can really help me in my future career, as I will most likely be interviewing for jobs and also interviewing other people and asking them questions about their health, so as I can help them further and make them a better person, inevitably making their life a better place to live.
Not only did I realize that there were many courses in communications that could help me, after my first class, and glancing through the book, I realized that there was so much about communication that I had no idea was even there. There are many aspects of communication like interpersonal, intrapersonal, argument and debate, persuasion, and multicultural that could really help you in all aspects of life. It is amazing how many different areas of study that the communication department can cover, and I am excited to choose four different classes that will help me in my future.
I feel that taking persuasion will help me in my future career. One reason is because I should have to persuade people to listen to me whenever I give advice and learning the different aspects of persuasion and what is right and wrong will definitely help me benefit me in the long run. Another class that I feel I could really benefit my career is multicultural communication. California stands as one of the most diverse states in the country. For this reason, I feel learning more about how to communicate to different cultures, and the signs that other different cultures and ethnicities give off will help me in my career. I hopefully will be working with a lot of different races and ethnicities, and for this reason, I feel that this class will inevitably help me.
Wood talks about cultural impact on page 13 and states that "to be effective, citizens in a democracy must be able to express ideas and to evaluate the ideas of others." (Wood, p.13). He continues to express how this is important in presidential debates, politics and what not; however, I find this idea intriguing and feel that I could apply that approach to the life of a nutritionist. I feel as an effective communicator, I can evaluate the ideas of my patients, while they can also reciprocally apply the same to me, thus, working together to achieve a common goal that I have outlined for them.
The most interesting aspect of communication that I have found so far is interpersonal communication. It is very broad, but it's extremely intriguing and I would love to learn more about it. I like how the book explains the mushroom effect that this field of study has received since the 1960's. The book states that scholars focus on how communication creates and sustains relationships and how partners communicate with each other to deal with their problems, internally and externally. Another great research topic that I would love to further investigate is how the media shapes our expectations of communication in relationships. The media is very manipulative in the way they can control a society to act and feel certain ways. One example I can attest to is when Nelly wore a professional jersey backwards in one of his videos when I was in high school. It was cool in the video, but I noticed everyone started to wear their jerseys backwards after that. I was confused, because I understood that if I had worn a jersey backwards before Nelly did on MTV, then I would inevitably been made fun of, and being the climax of everyone's punch line joke. However, since Nelly did it, it became cool in just a four minute song. This area of study is one that I could really see myself exploring.
All in all, I feel that communication is something that I can really benefit from. Choosing this area of focus for my minor can only add to my credibility when I am seeking a job after I graduate. From the variety of studies that one can look at in communication, the sky is really the limit for exploring and getting to better understand how humans communicate in our society. I am very interested to see what kind of information I can collect and store away from this minor. The opportunities seem endless, and from what I have learned already, I feel that this degree is going to be a nice compliment to my major. In the end, this degree will help me communicate effectively as a nutrition counselor and I will be able to provide a better product for my consumers. I will understand some non-verbal, interpersonal, persuasion, and other general areas of concentration that this minor could afford me. I am looking forward to completing this degree and getting my minor in the communications studies department, here at San Jose State University.