Written by: Kristy Cerini
As this semester comes to a close, I find it hard to believe that I am about to embark on my final semester as an undergraduate student at Montclair State University. I have had the pleasure of taking amazing classes with equally amazing professors, all thanks to the School of Communication and Media. And to think that I am almost done with it all is mind-blowing. Of course, it’s important to remember where it all began.
When I first got to college, I thought I knew what I wanted- to produce and be in video content. It was simple. I came from my high school where I was the lead anchor of the TV news program. Being in front of the camera was all I knew, and I looked forward to seeing how I could expand my experience at Montclair State.
My passion began to shift to a different discipline when on a whim, I decided to register for a public relations class, despite having any knowledge on the subject prior to college.
I remember how cool I thought the concept public relations was. Sitting in my class, I thought to myself, “Wow, I can do this for a living?” Creating content and planning events are hobbies, so discovering I could apply them to my courses made them feel more fun.
I decided to continue taking courses relating to public relations, including Professor Green’s Public Relations Writing class. It was in this class where I felt I was truly unlocking my potential. My other extracurriculars piqued my interest in graphic design, so I was using skills in that area, too.
It was after one specific project that Professor Green recommended I consider Hawk Communications as a future course. It was a course that fit perfectly into my schedule for the Fall, so I was excited for the semester.
On the first day of class, I introduced myself to my peers and decided to be as candid as possible. I shared with everyone that I had a bad case imposter syndrome, which involves feelings of self-doubt and personal incompetence despite your education, experience, and accomplishments. It’s something that had only been getting worse, so taking the course felt like a big risk knowing that it was a student-run agency.
I kept telling myself that if I could succeed in Hawk Communications, that I’d do well in the real world, because the course allowed me to work with real clients that had real needs. Despite not being confident, I went into the course with a positive mindset, hoping it would help me grow me professionally.
Hawk Communications has exceeded my expectations in many ways. It taught me so much, but one of the most important things it allowed me to work on was communicating with clients and professional adults in general.
Preparing and leading meetings was something I could’ve never imagined doing so frequently this semester. Before my first meeting, I couldn’t help but think, “what If they can tell I don’t know what I’m doing, or do I sound like I know what I’m talking about?” But feedback from my teammates and clients throughout the semester assured me that I am on the right track.
Working for the agency also helped me sharpen my team-working skills. My previous jobs were mostly solo work with little interaction, so working with so many different people was challenging at times. I am better at compromising and delegating as a result of working in teams on The Garden State Wine Growers Association and Diverse Sources NJ.