Junior Experience: Faculty help student make major decision

As students we grow to realize how important it is to learn from all of life’s opportunities. While classes can act as guides toward what we want to do, the things we do outside the classroom, such as part-time jobs, co-ops and internships, are our best chance to recognize what we enjoy doing the most.
As a freshman entering Rider, I was sure I wanted to major in journalism and write for a newspaper or magazine after college.  Along the way, I picked up a minor in Spanish because of my love for the language and the help I believed it could give me in my future career search.
Going into sophomore year, I had already completed many graphic design classes that were mandatory for my major. Those classes made me realize I love the creative part of communications and led to my graphic design minor.
When the summer after my sophomore year began, I was determined to find an internship involving journalism or graphic design. I ended up at a graphic design agency where I worked every day on proofing designs and creating logos for clients.
After two months of commuting into New York and numerous assignments I completed with the Adobe Creative Suite, I knew that this was something I loved doing and wanted to continue after completing college.
By making this decision, I knew I would need to make a lot of academic changes, and I wasn’t sure if it would set back the progress I already made with classes.  I emailed my adviser to explain my situation and ask what my next step should be; she emailed me back within 15 minutes and made the process very simple and quick. She also made me feel more confident with the decision I made.
Luckily for me, my adviser had everything set up and had already filled out the necessary forms I needed. I was so grateful for the effort she put in to make this process an easy one. This was just one of the many times that the faculty in the Department of Communication and Journalism has been so helpful and supportive during my time at Rider.
For instance, earlier in the summer, one of my journalism professors left me a voicemail asking if I would like to take photos for The Rider News for the upcoming year.  It was a great feeling to know he recommended me to the photo editor. After I accepted, the editor explained to me how highly my professor spoke of me. Now I am taking photos for the paper this school year and am very excited about it.
Although I knew I would be busy helping out with The Rider News, I wanted to find a job during the year as well.  I decided to reach out to another communication professor whom I babysat for in the past and asked him if he knew of any jobs that I would be applicable to work at on- or off-campus. After hearing back from him only hours later, with a detailed response and many job options, I was ecstatic. A few applications later and I landed a campus job, which I owe to my professor for helping me out and responding so quickly.
As a result of many of the faculty in the Communication department and the immediate and very helpful assistance from my adviser, I have become more excited to move back to campus for a very busy junior year.
-Shannon Lacara
Junior journalism major

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