I just received my final grades for this past semester. I’m halfway done my master’s degree and I have an excellent GPA. That’s all fine and dandy but that’s not going to get me an interview, much less a job.
As Newhouse’s graduate student employment statistics document makes clear,
“A master’s degree doesn’t guarantee a better job right away or higher salary without professional experience before beginning a master’s program. Instead, a master’s degree pays off in the form of earlier promotions and raises a few years after graduation.”
As I’ve mentioned a number of times, I have a pretty good idea of what I’m going to be doing immediately after Newhouse in June (creating web content and managing social media for higher ed). The issue now is to make the most of the time and energy I have in the next 5 months to ensure I’m the most qualified I am for the kind of positions to which I’ll be applying. So, in addition to taking the required
Understanding Financial Statements,
Financial Markets and Institutions,
Public Relations Practicum,
Public Relations Campaign Planning and Execution
and Public Relations Management, I’ll be working on skills I’ll need to land my first job.
I’ve looked at dozens of job listings similar to those I’ll be applying for in April. I’ve found that there things that employers either require or prefer for those positions that aren’t covered to the extent I need in my curriculum but which I can improve upon in the meantime. Below are those skills and what I’m doing/have done to improve them.
Basic Photography/Videography - taking a Newhouse course that covers
- Multi-Platform Photojournalism using Multiple Mediums
- HDSLR Camera Handling Basics for Video and Stills
- Lighting for still and video
- Still, sound and motion collection
- The visual and auditory narrative
- The interview, working with your subject
- Video shooting and editing sequences
- Nonlinear editing
- Working with changing technology
Basic Knowledge of HTML/CSS – Taking HTML Essential Training (including a CSS primer) on Lynda.com
Web Analytics - Taking Google Analytics Essential Training on Lynda.com
InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop CS6 – Individual courses on Lynda.com (in addition to GRA 617)
Managing Social Media Platforms (my PR Practicum with Kate Brodock, Executive Director of Digital and Social Media at Syracuse University in addition to my prior experience)
That’s about it for now.