“There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it.” Spoken by Dale Carnegie, one of the most well-known authors in the field of communication, these words emphasize the necessity of good communication skills.
The ability to communicate allows a person to share their thoughts, feelings and aspirations with others. Communication is a vehicle for social interaction, and a means of expression. The drive to communicate forces speakers, writers and musicians to understand themselves, so that others can understand them too.
So why are fundamental communication skills taught only in the School of Communication, and not in all areas of study offered at the University of Miami?
Everything from class sizes to special events in the School of Communication allows for increased interaction among students, and their professors and fellow classmates. Classes usually consist of 10-15 students sitting around one long table – a stark contrast from the 200 plus seats in the lecture hall in the Cox Science Building.
Last week, the School of Communication enriched students with Comm Week. Guest speakers from top-notch organizations like The New York Times and Crispin-Porter and Bogusky, a national advertising company, spoke to students and offered advice, knowledge and a showcasing of their effective public speaking skills. To hear guest lectures in the area of neuroscience, my major, I would have to travel to the Miller School of Medicine during the day. How convenient!
While spending most of my education thus far at the University of Miami within the confines of the College of Arts and Sciences, I heard rumors that communication students were less intelligent, consisting of slackers who do not want to work hard. Now that I have had classes in the School of Communication, the only conclusion I can come to is that pre-med students started this rumor because they were jealous that some college students get to learn about topics slightly more exciting than RNA polymerase I. The students in the School of Communication are bright, outgoing, driven and aware of the importance of communicating with others.
Now, I might have placed the School of Communication on a pedestal, but that was not my goal. Scholars from all majors at the University of Miami have the ability, drive and knowledge to become masters of their fields. Still, if you have never ventured outside of your specific field of study, you should look into taking a class or two in the School of Communication. It will be different, enriching, and might even help you one day during a job interview.
Karyn Meshbane is a junior majoring in neuroscience, with a journalism minor. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.