Top 10 tips for Communication Students

Last week I attended a meeting for the NKU Communication Club. Free Pizza was had and we had a guest speaker – Director of Media Relations and Communications Chris Cole. I try to encourage friends I know to go to “meetups” such as this one because the speaker always has good advice and one should never have to worry about the speaker being engaging.  Chris knew he would be talking to a variety of Communication majors, so he made a list that we students could all use at any level striving for our professional career.


Top 10 tips for Communication students

  1. Read. Read as often as you can.
    • It increases your knowledge.
    • Read everything from print newspapers and magazines to everything online.
  2. Write.
    • The only way to write well is to write often.
  3. Paying your dues is a good thing.
    • This means any unpaid internships or anything else that will get you work.
  4. Keep an open mind about a career.
    • Take a risk.
    • You don’t have to do the nuttiest stuff, but be careful.
  5. Network from the very beginning.
    • It means getting to know your professors.
    • It also means to get to know your classmates since they could be your colleagues some day.
  6. Dare to impress people.
    • Go the extra mile!
    • It opens doors!
    • You don’t have to put it in your calendar to network or impress people, you just do it as you go along.
    • As you graduate, clean up your Facebook and MySpace.
    • Employers look at those things!
  7. Make everybody’s job easier.
    • By doing that, more people will make you the “go-to” person.
    • This includes internal people as well.  You will be valued!
  8. Transparency is worth fighting for, but you’ll have to fight for it.
    • Don’t be the spin doctor.  It makes it hard for reporters to do their job.
  9. Don’t Lie. Ever.
    • You will get fired!
  10. Internet killed the newspaper star.
    • Don’t become obsolete.
    • Embrace the new technology!


From my own experiences, I do my best to read and write often so that I can keep those skills sharpened.  Also, last May at the 2008 NPPA conference, I was told by award-winning international photographer John Moore when asked for advice for someone just getting into the photojournalism field, he said to get a portfolio. Finally, as I’m about to graduate in a few months, I will do my best to keep an open mind for a career since networking opportunities can come around when we least expect them and then they may lead to a better career opportunity.

Watch this!
New Media Panelists give advice to journalism students

Articles of Interest

J-Learning – If you don’t learn new skills,  your employer will find someone else
The Elementary Education – Beyond Portfolios
Buzz Machine – A portfolio instead of a diploma
UMass Journalism Professors Blog – A Look to the Future
Paul Bradshaw – How to be a journalism student
Mindy McAdams – Advice for Journalism students now
Alfred Hermida – Good advice for journalism students
Greg Linch – Top ten list of tips for journalism students
Rob Curley – I’m not sure it’s really about being the pitcher and the catcher
Brad King – Best Young Journalists Arent’s Wired
Howard Owens – The best and brightest of journalism’s future not exactly wired
Mark Hancock – Pass the baton – “The Last Lecture” and time management
Emily Ingram – Clueless about multimedia? Today’s the day that ends
Emily Ingram – Student journalists, online isn’t an option. It’s a requirement.

3 Replies to “Top 10 tips for Communication Students”

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