Junior Communication Studies Major: How I’m Gaining Lifelong Skills at Rowan

Christian walks with a group of students down Rowan Boulevard

Today we feature junior Communication Studies major and Journalism minor Christian A. Browne, who commutes to Rowan from Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County) and is originally from Philadelphia. Christian transferred to Rowan from Camden County College.

Going to Rowan has been one of the best experiences of my life. Through the university newspaper The Whit, Rowan Blog and other avenues, I have been lucky enough to gain some valuable professional skills. Here are some of the lessons that I have learned so far.

Headshot of author Christian Browne

Time Management

Managing your time is the most important skill to have in business. There are a lot of things that you will have to keep track of during your day. And with all of us managing school, work, clubs, friends, etc., it’s good to create a schedule for yourself to meet your deadlines. For example, for my internship with Rowan Blog, normally I schedule a meeting to photograph, video and interview people every day. Making sure that I have time to meet the person, don’t double book someone, and give myself time to meet the deadlines given to me is important. It takes time, but it’s a great skill to have.

An image Christian captured for Rowan Blog of another student skateboarding
This is one of the photos I took.

Listening and Communication Skills

Listening to others and having good communication skills will not only help you professionally, but personally as well! Being a Communication Studies major, I know how much listening to others matters. You can never truly pick up new skills on the job and learn from others unless you are listening to what they are saying and absorbing their knowledge. I remember when I first started at Rowan Blog, I sat next to another student named Nicole, who was editing a video at the time. Video editing is a skill that I know that I need to improve in. So I asked if I could get some advice and learn from her. She said yes, and I ended up learning a lot from her, which was so valuable! 

Never Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Many people in a classroom often don’t raise their hands for help from a professor. They end up struggling on an assignment or sometimes being forced to redo something. Or they miss out entirely on a once-in-a-lifetime chance. For me, I am the type of person that will ask anything and everything. I want to learn about different things and to gain skills in life.

When I was in Prof. Tim Hawk’s Photojournalism class, I asked him a lot of photography questions. I was at the time taking photos for months but didn’t know a lot about photography skills, the business itself, and what to look for. One of the best pieces of advice that I got from him was for every good photo that you see on the screen, to take 100 of them. Don’t be afraid to take a lot of shots. Also, you can get anywhere with a camera. It helped me a lot as I was able to get good photos for Rowan Blog and university newspaper, The Whit.

Also, just because I asked someone who was there and was working for The Whit, I got to ride on a go-kart with Charles Barkley and get a photo with someone who’s a legend on my favorite basketball team. If I didn’t ask for help or for advice, then I wouldn’t have gained the knowledge to help me in situations like this!

Dog sitting inside of Mystic piercing and tattoo in October as a apart of a project for Photojournalism
Dog sitting inside of Mystic Piercing and Tattoo as part of a class project for Photojournalism class

Care For Others (Kindness Counts)

Last but not less, kindness truly goes a long way. I always treat everyone with whom I interact the respect and kindness that everyone in life should get. Bosses, co-workers and others will always remember how you treat them, whether it’s helping someone who you know is going through difficult times in life or just being there as an extra hand for a coworker who is overwhelmed with a project. Even just little things, like getting someone a gift or being flexible with the time that you meet someone can go a long way toward building connections with others.

I know for me, I got my role as a Multimedia editor for The Whit because I got to know the people there and put in an effort to help out the newspaper in any way. When the role came open, they came to me and pushed hard for me to go for it! While many people in other fields push people to be extremely cutthroat, kindness will always win out!

I hope that some of these experiences can help you in your professional careers!

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Story by:
Christian A. Browne, junior communication studies major

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