What Supporting Skills Should You Be Sharpening?

Ross Johnson's picture
Instructor
6/18/2014
New Media, Social Media

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The web design community frequently discusses the need for a "T" shaped skill set. This refers to the idea that you have a broad base of skills (the top of the T) and a deep focus in a particular area (the stem of the T.) This is particularly important in web design because of the wide range of tasks a "web designer" might perform. For example, on a given day I might review proposals, meet with clients, document functionality, write code, design interactions or craft a brand identity.

Over the years I've expanded my base of skills while focusing on user experience design. This has helped differentiate my design company and allowed us to take on a wide range of projects. These days, the need for a "T" shaped skill set isn't isolated to design or technology. I would argue that all professionals need a wide range of skills in addition to a their chosen focus.

Writing is a common example. With the reliance on technology for communication, strong writing skills are a must for any professional entering the workforce. But writing isn't the only skill worth having, depending on your profession you may need to know how to create compelling presentations, edit videos, publish content online, etc...

So tell me, what career are you pursuing and what supportive skills will you need to be most successful?

Comments & Feedback

Student

I am a songwriter and I know exactly what you mean when you say strong writing skills are a must for a professional entering the workforce.  It is however, in a way, a lot different than just writing a story or blog.  Writing is writing no matter what, but you can tell its good writing when you get a feeling inside about it and it makes you think.  When it comes to writing songs this is exactly what I attempt to do and trust me, it's not easy.  I've gotten to a point where I don't know what story I should tell or how to tell it for that matter.  But the thing about being a writer is that you hit walls almost every day and it's how you attempt to get over that wall that defines you as a writer.  I can't tell you how many times I've hit a wall that I couldn't get past and sometimes that's just how it goes.  But in doing that you are still improving your writing skills because you learn from it.  Other than writing another must have skill is patience.  A story won't write itself over night (but if you're really lucky and on a roll it might happen).  I love to write and I practice every day to improve my "T" shaped skill set.

Student

Im currently seeking an internship in an Ad agency in the account department in New Jersey.  Im not really sure if i want to work in an agency moving past but I would like to see if i like it before i move on. Im just hoping if i get the internship that any skills that are required for that job will be my strong suit.

Student

When I did my interns, I worked as a in-house advertising agency, doing all the PR and promotion works, like managing Facebook and Renren, brainstorming promotio ideas and a sort of things like these. Also I focused on graphic design. Is this a T shape skill? 

Actually, I feel this idea is critical. I personally don't like multi-task, because I think it makes every work unclear. If every person can do so many thing, they might be asked to do things that are not their most professional to. That makes everything runs but stay in a average level. I think the only multi-task person should be the group leader, and other persons should just focus on what they do. 

Student

I am pursuing a career as a tax accountant which requires extensive technical skills as well as skills communicating with coworkers and clients. I need to be able to juggle many different tasks and learn on to manage client work on a time and money budget. I will need to be proficient at writing memos that aren't so much creative and flowery, but that they tell exactly what steps I went through to get the work done and cover all important points. I believe the skills I need to be successful are common to many business professions, especially learning difficult concepts quickly and learning how to make your work stand out from others. Hey, the point is to get promoted, right?

Student

Nowadays, many companies possess large amount of marketing data thanks to the technology development of marketing tools and their cost reduction but not all of them understand how to deal with those data. The marketer who has data analyzing skill therefore has advantages to appeal one’s ability and statistical processing skill is actually what I try to improve.

In the organization, some departments sometimes have conflict with other departments such as between sales department and marketing department. If person has T-shaped skills, that would be also useful to smooth relationship with other departments.

Student

My current search for Fall internships has opened up my eyes to a lot more skills I didn't really think about needing before. For example, I know I'll need to be able to design with Adobe and code HTML, CSS and JavaScript to build websites - but there are more platforms for development that people might want to use when their websites are being built. For example, Wordpress and Drupal are commonly used but I don't know very much about them. I am starting to get familiar with mobile design, but responsive design is especially important for user experience when it comes to different screen resolutions between "laptop" and "iphone". These skills would benefit my chosen focus, but I also believe being well-rounded in a lot of verses of development will help me be a stronger and smarter media professional in general.

Student

Working as a personal assistant at my job has taught me many new important skills but also has made me realize that there is always going to be more to learn in the future. Everything is now online, which is now changing the way businesses do things. I have learned to blog, create a website and contact numerous people. I am continually learning new skills and sharpening old ones. I think it's important that I learn more about writing online press releases and social media releases. As my job changes overtime, I hope to continually add onto my skill set.

Student

In my career, I ultimately would like to become my own boss. With that being said, I would one day love to create and run my own successful media consulting firm. With this firm, I would use my expertise to help create and maintain companies. My T-shaped skills for the broad portion would be to have the ability to apply my knowledge to any situation that deals with my clients. And my deep skills would be the tools I have to help with the building or maintenance of the clients that I am working with. Some of the tools I am currently learning with this class would be kept in my 'toolkit' such as inbound marketing.  These skills will get developed throughout my career as my brand grows and I will continue to learn as much as possible before creating my company.

Student

I'm always looking to improve myself.  I tell my students that they will never stop learning, even after college.  Students really don't like to hear that, but it is not a negative comment.  You always want to become better at what you do.  I have been extremely successful in television and film in the past.  Being successful is about not compromising, never think that you are good enough.  Even Steven Spielberg will say he could be a better director.  Constant improvement to your skills will get you into a place of success.  You can never think you are the best at what you do.  If you ever think like that you will become static and somebody will pass you.  The industry is highly competitive, you need to improve yourself constantly.  

Even though I had a successful first career, I'm improving myself and my skills to be a more valuable employee for the future.  I think constantly sharping your skills will make you a better worker and a better person.  Learning new things and improving myself has been very important in my life.    

Student

I love this idea of a "T" shaped skill set. I think it is so smart and so beneficial to any individual entering the workforce. I am an advertising major on the management track and I would eventually like to gain a specialization in public relations. Public relations would clearly be my deep focus, however I will need skills and some knowlede with campaign design, digital pr, writing, editing, webpage design (at least knowledge of how it works), and advanced social media skills. All of these things will be helpful in my career and I look forward to using all of them and learning many new skills throughout my career.

 

Student

I posted on this blog only a couple weeks ago, but I'd like to add to it. I still want to end up with a job in social media, but I think my ultimate dream job would be to take my business to the max and run it as my own. In order to do that, I need a lot of different skills - I need to know know how to optimize the business on social media, I need to be a good marketer, I need to be good at making my product, I need to use the right platforms of social media for it. There are probably so many different aspects I'm missing, but basically I just need to appeal to the demand of my customers and give them what they want while making a profit. Ultimately, this would be where I want to end up someday. I've realized this is what I'm really passionate about and I want to be happy with what I'm doing someday!

Student

Upon graduating after this upcoming fall, I hope to enter the digital marketing industry. Currently, I am an intern at a digital marketing firm for their Social Media Marketing team. However, I want to expand my knowledge and work experience outside of the social media realm, which is why this class is so great for me. Learning new skills such as Search Engine Optimization, being able to create and optimize blogs, and being able to create successful Google Adwords campaigns will prove to be a HUGE advantage for me in my future field. I am confident that the knowledge I am gaining from this class will prove to be indiciative of my future success in the digital marketing and advertising field. Additionally, one skill I would like to refine and gain more knowledge on is coding. In my opinion, in today's day and age, being able to code is an incedibily useful skill, as literally every business needs people who can do this. Because having a digital presence on multiple mediums is so very important for any company, especially a company website, coding is becoming more and more prevalent in today's global workforce.

Student

I too one day hope to become a web designer as well as a content editor for a popular blog. The skills I'll need would obvious be to know HTML/CSS, know how to use different graphic programs, have great writing skills, and be familiar with different writing style guides. I already can create content with my writing skills and photography skills. I also have to adapt to the many changes that web designing goes through. I find that interesting because I too love to learn and have new experiences. Since I'm a Professional Writing student, I hope have no problems with obtaining a career with this focus. As long as I create a great professional portfolio and continue to refine my skills, I believe I can go far as I want. 

Student

Once I graduate in 2015, I'm looking to start a career in the advertising department of a fashion or beauty company. I think the supportive skills that I will need to be most successful will be an in-depth understanding of the consumers of a certain product, strong writing skills and I definitely need to know how to create interesting and compelling presentations, videos, blogs and online content which I feel that this class will really help me in. I enjoy the realistic projects that we are assigned to do every week, I feel like it is practice for any projects I might have in my future career, especially our upcoming final project in which we will create a presentation for the brand we have chosen. I am excited to start working on this project because I know that I will have to create many presentations in my career in advertising.

Student

After I graduate this year, I hope to begin a career in the field of public relations. For PR, I would say that the broad area of the T would be general communication skills, whether it be written or oral. Its extremely important to not only be able to express thoughts clearly in writing, but to be personable and easy to talk to when speaking with media or clients. 

I think social media is important for the more narrow set of skills on the bottom stem of the T. Social media is a completely new concept to older PR professionals,  yet its the quickest way to get news out. Being able to utilize social media to its fullest is a trait worth taking advantage of.

Student

I am an advertising student, specializing in public relations. I intend to go into the PR industry.

The PR industry has a heavy focus on writing—an undertsanding and the ability to write in AP style is required in all assets of the industry. However, with times changing and technology growing as a necessary prescence in the industry, it is important to have more than only that on your resume.

I have chosen to focus on design and creation as my supportive skills. Having the ability to design and format a newsletter on an online server (Mailchimp, Constant Contact) is necessary for all organizations. I believe these are skills that will determine who is hired. 

Adobe Suite is also something I believe will soon be required of PR professionals. The ability to represent your company visually is just as important as how you represent their image as a whole. 

Student

I think that the T shaped skill set is very important also. Having a well rounded set of skills when it comes to your specific profession is very important, as it makes you versatile. At the same time, having a very deep focus in a very specific section of your profession enables you to be super experienced. Both of these things make you very marketable to potential jobs.

I am currently working towards a career in publishing, specifically being an editor. I think for this career I will need a broad set of English skills, combined with a very strong knowledge of grammar and proper editing procedures. I think to become a proficient editor, I will need to know how to correctly write a variety of pieces, so that I know what mistakes to look for. Also, I will need to know how to create various documents to engage with authors and other editors. 

Specifically though, I will need to have a deep understanding of grammatical rules and formatting procedures. This deep concentration will enable me to focus intensely on the small details, while my broad skills will help enhance me as an editor as a whole. 

Student

As an accounting student, I also require a broad range of technological skills.  Accounting requires general knowledge in Microsoft Access for database modeling, to Excel for making spreadsheets.  All accountants require the same general knowledge in these technology fields, as well as in making and reading financial statements.  On top of these general skills accountants require a deeper understanding of the particular field they are going into.  Whether its for public auditing, tax accounting, tech accounting, or corporate accounting, different accountants will need different specializations.  For me, I am going into public accounting, so it is necessary to have a fuller understanding of national and international laws regarding accounting to ensure that corporations are staying within legal guidelines.

Student

I'm studying the manangement side of advertising. I am currently interning at a digital agency in the account management department. Not only is it important to understand how to manage the account, writing proposals and making presentations to show to the client but it is also important to understand the whole creative aspect of advertising. The account team and the creative team work closely in order to give the clients what they want. One of my goals is to learn more about the process that the creatives go through and how our ads actually go together. Since we are a digital agency and chances are I will be working with media throughout my career, I would like to learn how we manange all of our websites and track the performance of our ads.

Student

My goal is to work in an industry or company that is fueled by production. Advertising is my major so I would love to work for an andvertising firm and become an Account Manager where I can over-see the production team as well as be a part of the creative part of the project. If the advertising industry doesn't work out for me, I would love to pursue a career in film production. One of my biggest hobbies is watching films and I have the dream of someday producing or directing movies. So I would say that I need both strong creative and managerial skills for both paths that I would like to pursue. On top of video production and editing skills which is a must. I think those skills can be easily taught though, and the most important skills would be the creative and managerial.

Student

I personally want to be an entrepreneur in the future. Of course, that doesn't mean I want to get into it the moment I get out of University. I feel that I lack the experience to just jump into it and I feel that its important to know your stuff and do your homework before jumping into doing business right from the get go, unless I get a million $ idea. But that's the long term goal and the reason why I think I can achieve that is for a few reasons. Firstly, I dream big, I believe that the first step to making it big is to start dreaming big. Secondly, I am a leader and love working in teams. I bring a positive attitude and am an excellent communicator. I am adept at active listening which gives me an edge by taking in information that most might miss. I am willing to take risks when necessary but am not foolish enough to go in blind. I know when one must take support of others and when it's important to walk the path alone. I have a very imaginative and creative mind and would bring a great business work ethic. I am uncompromising on my principles and stand my ground before I let anyone or anything compromise me and/or my integrity. I think these are some of the most important factors in order to become a successful entrepreneur. Lastly, I am unwilling to give up on my dream. Most people compromise on their dream if not entirely give up on it. People think that the greatest of entrepreneurs achieved everything by themselves, but that's not true at all. Noone can do anything single handedly and I believe that I am very much capable of working with professionals to develop a good business.

Keeping all this in mind I believe that I would only get into a business that I personally find interesting and fun because YOLO. That's why my intention would be getting into a more creative field like marketing, advertising, video game development, publishing, culinary scene, etc. A place where its not just about number crunching but where people can appreciate the work being put into it. Criticize me all you want, call me a dreamer or even an idiot, but know this 10 years from now I am going to stand in a different place and then we'll see who mocks me then. The path to greatness is covered in thorns and great men were always at some point in their lives criticized but they all proved those around them wrong.

Student

I will merge myself into Public Relations field in the future. This requires a lot of skills in a variety of fields. First of all, I need to get the best writing skills for press releases or communication in social media world. Also, I need communication skills such as speaking or presentation as well because persuation and listening are indispensible for me to conduct Public Relations activities. Not to mention, I also need organization skill because Public Relations practice contains a lot of different projects and campaigns to achieve my organization's goal in the long run. In terms of "T" shaped skill set, I will be the expert PR practitioner in NGO fundraising PR. However, no matter what field I become an expert within, I should get expertise from all the skills above. I mean, especially when I want to become the best.  

Student

I want to pursue a career in crisis communication and brand management.  For my supportive skill set, I need to be proficient in managing conflict as well as maintaining work relationships.  I need to be able to think fast on my feet and remain calm in hectic situations.  Instead of being reactive, I need to work on being practical and realistic.  I need to understand the worth of certain media outlets and not fragment my brand.  

 

I really like the idea of a "T" shaped skill set; I might use that idea in training sessions I have at work. 

Student

I wish you luck as you pursue a career in crisis communication. That is an interesting field and something I'll take a look at later. Being practical is good skill to have because I too am working on that (recovering shopping addict). When evaluating the media for crisis, take a look at how PR firms or PR representatives help manage a situation when the public catches whim. Other than that good luck. 

Student

I am interested in pursuing a sale career after graduation. This summer, I'm getting a broad idea of account managment with sales for my internship. Though I want to start off by actually going out to customers and clients and creating relationships and selling, it's interesting to be behind the scenes. The supportive skills I need to be the most successful in a  professional selling role in the B2B world is networking skills, writing and presentation skills, Microsoft Suite knowledge in all software, including Excel, Live Meeting, and Office, and a deep, sometimes technical understanding of the product I am selling, whether that is automotive parts or digital advertising platforms. 

Student

I know now more than ever what you mean by "T" skills. I have been experiencing the need to be a well-rounded individual in order to be successful in the field of advertising. First-hand experience is a big eye-opener to the field you are entering. I have seen what it takes from my internship and I couldn't be more appreciative for all the things I have learned in my wide variety of classes at MSU. I am a Marketing Intern for a high fashion jewelry designer based out of New York, and I have used everything from writing (blogging) to editing on Photoshop and Lightroom. I create banners for Facebook and for her Blog page, as well as coming up with clever and catchy tweets and hash tags. I also make instagram pictures with text on them to help advertise her upcoming events or sales that will be taking place. I don't help her much with the actual blog posts themselves, but I know that if I want to run my own business one day or if I am in charge of Digital media for a large company, I will have to put my writing skills to the test. I know that writing is the most important skill, no matter what field you will be entering. It is the basis of communicating between humans, especially since most business interactions these days will not be made face-to-face, but on the Internet. I must know how to communicate to the customer through writing in a friendly manner, for the purpose of blogging, or even a more professional, yet not scary, way when referring to something more formal.  I really want to be the person who designs the ads for a fashion company, and hopefully work my way up to becoming an executive and in charge of Marketing and Sales Strategies Globally! Imagine that! I need to be in touch with my creative brain in order to come up with unique ads that will strike emotion and a reaction out of customers. Photography is very big in the fashion world, and the advertising world in general. I know I will have to have a solid background on the basics of photography and how to capture an artistic and appealing photograph.  Also, I have already used my Photoshop and Illustrator Skills a great amount for my internship, and I know these programs are only going to help me be more extravagant with my work with more and more practice. The class I just finished called Web Design certainly taught me how important, yet difficult, designing websites are.  Every business must have a website, and there is so much that goes into it! The style of the site is one thing, but the accessibility and usability is also very important. One needs to know how to navigate through and site so it needs to be clear and organized.  Planning is a huge thing that I learned is important in every aspect of work life. Planning art, text, blogs, coding for a website, anything that involves a process needs a plan and an outline to begin properly.  I may even need to use my sketching and art skills to plan and map out an advertisement. All of these skills will lead me to being a more successful advertising executive and to hopefully go further in the professional world. 

Student

After working for a few different companies and in a few different industries over the past few years, I have learned what my best and worst skills are in the workplace. I learned that my personal communication skills along with my writing ability are a few of my best skills. I also learned that coding and graphic design were not some of my strong points. Working at different places and in different areas of business helped me learn these valuable lessons about myself and have helped me better understand the business world as a whole. I also learned that I could rule a few jobs out such as doing corporate accounting. Overall, these experiences have helped me determine that I want to work in the financial sector but from the advertising and marketing standpoint rather than doing things such as accounting, stock trading, and other financial related tasks. 

My father runs his own financial planning and asset management companies and I would love nothing more than to go into the family business and help him improve on his business as it pertains to the advertising and marketing efforts of both of his companies. I plan on doing this by using my best assets such as my writing ability to help him create brochures, press releases, signs, slogans, and other advertisements. I believe that using a combination of both old and new advertising techniques will give me the best chance to be successful and help my father expand on his business. 

 

Student

This class encouraged me to start filming and editing for my blog. I think it's a fantastically creative and rewarding hobby/passion. Aside from the actual activity, I've gained an appreciation for those film makers who ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING and I've been able to gain more insight from it. Videos make up a lot of the content we all consume, yet, it's not all of us who take the time to make quality videos.

Another thing I've found helpful is just having a basic knowledge of psychology. Not even necessarily for the marketing aspect, but for life, jobs, relationships, interviews, fashion, health, the ups and downs of any and everyday can at least be partially remedied through an understanding of how people think. And not just people, but myself!

Student

I am planning to pursue a career in retailing and merchandising. Regardless of what field I enter, I think it is important to have basic knowledge of most skills. Hopefully by the end of this course I will be able to improve my skills on all social networks and my WordPress site. I also want to learn basic coding skills and Adobe software in the future. Knowing these skills will give me more credibility and versatility in the job market. 

Student

I find this post to be relevant to my current job. I began at the beginning of the summer, and didn't really have any idea what I was doing. I knew that I would be involved with advertising and sales. I knew the basics such as using access, finding and following up with leads, and dealing with social media sites.As the weeks have went on, I have learned the job is much more in depth than what I thought it would be. First, I had to learn all about the products I would be dealing with so I could answer customer questions. Second, I had to learn how to communicate when dealing with a sales pitch. I have never liked talking on the phone but was forced to do cold calls for the first few weeks. So I would say general knowledge of the products, and communication are effective skills to be successful for any job.

Student

This year I decided to pursue a career in advertising. I think that it is important to build a well-rounded education including all of the things we've learned in this corse so far. From marketing to branding to creating a good name for your company, I've realized that it helps for you to be informed on all aspects of marketing. I also agree that editing videos and publishing content online is important but I think that it is beneficial in any profession that you choose to follow. Leadership qualities and being reliable are also very important when taking on roles  for your job.

 

Student

As a grad student specializing in computer-mediated-communication with the dream of being a social media consultant, my skills are focused on two opposing dimensions which are complimentary in social media – the analytical and creative. Top skills falling into these dimensions include research design, analysis, website management, communication, SEO, social media, new media, and writing, designing and publishing content.

In order to achieve success in this broad range of skills, I believe that I should capitalize on and further develop my analytical skills in order to achieve the best outcomes from creative content. The ability to read and analyze data from sources like Google Analytics will help me to understand a target audience’s social media use and use this information to a brand’s advantage.  While my strong suit is in research, I should also hone in on my ability to improvise and create content. Unfortunately, I don't always feel secure in the content I create and should continue to be an active social media "listener".

What I’m starting to learn is that the most difficult skill might be the ability to manage time between research, content creation, and staying on top of industry news. I don't think you can ever stop developing your professional skills, especially in in fields that are constantly evolving.  

Student

This is my first time learning about the "T" shaped skills. I am pursuing a career in advertising and public relations. For me I think the top of the T would be that I have a strong understanding of advertising and public relations such as skills marketing, branding, and communication skills. For the stem of the T I think skills such as digital media, publish content online and digital marketing. Having strong leadership skills are important as well.

Student

Some sections or departments in companies may not need to put much emphasize on T shaped skill sets but I think it is usually beneficial to have them in many industries. I am currently pursuing a career in advertising. I am interested in companies’ global operation so that global marketing and global advertising knowledge and skills are necessary as the stem of the T. As the top of the T, I should have general advertising knowledge and skills such as marketing, branding, and communication skills. Additionally, I think gaining familiarity with new media technologies, digital marketing, and data analyzing, and being adept with figures or accounting would be advantages for advertising-related job. Data analyzing can be outsourced to other department, subsidiary, or other companies where specialists belong but I think marketing practitioners also need higher level of analyzing skills in the big data era. 

Student
At first as an advertising student I thought it was all about creativity and design, but as I looked into it more I realized a lot of communication, social media as well as other skills are involved. I chose to specialize in public relations because of all of the different skills needed and be able to show what I know to someday help grow a company. I'd say communication is the most important skill I'll need for what I want to do, it will be important to know how to communicate face-to-face with clients as well as on the phone and through e-mail. Writing will also be very important for writing press releases, memo's and e-mails. AP style has helped me a lot to grow my writing skills and learn the proper way to write words and abbreviate correctly. 
Student

The career I'm planning on pursuing is in media planning. To be successful at this, I'll need to have a lot of base skills underneath my belt. Specifically:

  1. Writing- Being able to write well is essential because I'll be writing briefs and displaying everything I've researched to the client.
  2. Research - Being able to research well is also essential. Without the ability to research well, I won't be able to do my job. I'll need to be able to talk to people, gather information, and analyze the best way to produce the most beneficial outcome for the ROI.
  3. Critical thinking - I'll have to decide what is the best route for media to take. This stems off of the research aspect. Without being able to see every angle of a situation, I will have many lost opportunities, lost profits, and even lost clients.

Basically, I'll need to successfully be able to think and write down my findings. I'm ready to rock the job world, I just don't know if it's ready for me.

Student

I am graduating in a year with a degree in Advertising with a focus on Management and Media. There are many skills that I feel I have learned while in school including the advertising "lingo", different avenues of work, and how to plan the details of a campaign. What I feel is much more valuable in this field is what a person learns outside of the classroom. For me, a big part of what I want to do after graduation has to deal with client relations and planning. I love working with people and forming a sincere relationship.

One skill that I feel I have learned with my current job in the field, and previous jobs in general is the ability to speak to others in a professional, organized way, that also allows room for a relationship to be built. In other words, being able to play off the personalities and demenours of others in order to know the best way to address them. As much as this skill seems like a "no-brainer" I definitely think it has helped me in many different situations. 

Another Skill that I feel is very important is organization skills. Whether that be physical organization,  For example, taking notes during a meeting, or mental organization like staying up to date with trends and information within your field. I feel that there is alot of value in knowing exactly what your talking about. 

A third skill I think is important is being receptive to learning. In this field, like previously stated, there are everchanging trends and information that you must be up to date with. I think it is crucial that a person has the skill to flush their ego down the toilet and be receptive to learning. The more you show that you are eager to learn, the less likely you will be ridiculed for your mistakes, or even make mistakes at all. 

Finally to get more specific on what I feel I need to know for my particular field currently is media planning. If I were to brush up my skills on that aspect of advertising, I think I would be in a better position to do the work I want to do after graduation.

Student

When I started school at MSU, I had no idea what I wanted to study or what I wanted to do after college. A few years later and I can finally say, I think I know what I want to do in the years following my unavoidable graduation date also known as, May 2015. Currently, I am in the process of starting my own Social Media company. With the help of a few family members and investors, I am starting to see the company come together. Although I am well aware that it may be hard at first to reach success, I am continually hopeful and really do believe in my company. 

In order to be successful, I will need (and may already have) the following skills: Organization, communication, planning, professionalism, new media, social media, and patience. As with most things, I am sure once the years go on, I will develop and realize there are many, many other skills I will need. However, right now I am comfortable with these. 

Student

As an advertising student, I think you are required to have a wide range of broad skills. The most important being communication. Other broad skills that you need to have to be successful in this industry is you have to be a team player and know how to effectively and efficiently work with others. These skills are important when going into a concentration, and once these skills are perfected it is easy to obtain a more focused skill set. After graduation I want to go into strategy and research at an agency. For this job you need problem solving skills. Conducting research and figuring out archetypes of a certain product is a huge part of the job and you need to be able to look at data and research and put it into writing to develop a strategy. Overall, it is really important to be a creative thinker, personable and have the ability to analyze data. 

Student

I totally agree that only one skill would not be enough for one's profession. As the development of modern society, being an interdisciplinary talent is very important to improve your career life. Keep learning various of new skills is the basic ability you should have.

For PR major, although writing is an essential skill during the whole career life, being sensitive to new digital media tools or communication technology is also the thing which one PR professional should focus. As a PR person, we should use different kinds of new skills or tools to reach our final goals. Keep up with the trend of  the development of media is the one every PR person should do.

As for me, I would like to know more about social media skills, being familiar with Big Data and New Digital Technology. Keep learning is the key to reach a successful career, I believe.

Student

As a communications major, I will always need strong writing skills as well as strong verbal communication skills. My career interests are more focused toward Human Resources (HR) or Training (onboarding process for employees). Communications skills in general will be key for me to be successful in my career whether it be in person, over the phone or through electronic forums such as email or social media. I need to be able to command the attention of a room full of new employees while giving a presentation and also be able to do one-on-one interactions for interviews, etc.  In addition to those skills, I also need to have strong problem solving and negotiation skills for any conflicts that may arise for employees. I think it would be a good idea for me to develop strong technological skills with software and social networking sites as well. Social sites will help me build my network and potentially recruit some strong candidates for positions within my company. When I say technological skills, I think it would be helpful to be an expert with all presentation software (PowerPoint, Prezi, etc.), basic office software (Office, Adobe) and also I am always interested in basic design software such as InDesign, Publisher and Photoshop. This way I can have a creative edge on some materials for either training or recruiting.

Student

As an advertising student, I am studying the managment side, so having a strong leadership skill and interpersonal skill is what I need to work on. I also want to improve on my writing style, so I have been reading and analyzing information online. I want to be more well-rounded and improve on my public speaking skills.

Student

As an aspiring graphic designer I need to stretch myself over a variety of skills in order to combine aesthetics and communications to deliver only the best design. Because a graphic designer can work in a lot of mediums and for any assortment of clients, there are already a lot of skills I need to have down in order to be successful in my career. At the present moment, I am focused on becoming absolutely fluent in software. 

Specifically I am practicing using all programs in Adobe CS6 with the intention of making these programs an extension of myself. Most designers work is done in Adobe, especially in companies and firms, and I think it is crucial to be 100% confident in your medium. Creative ideas come from the mind, but the ability to execute them basically can make or break a designer. The better you know what you're working with, the better your results. It helps that playing around in any of Adobe's programs can be incredibly fun, so getting to know the shortcuts and nifty features intimately hasn't been a huge strain on my life! 

Student

As an advertising major, there are a lot of skills that should be standard to everyone that works in the industry. I am studying advertising and specializing in public relations so for me it is important to be able to talk to clients, pitch ideas in front of clients, come up with new ideas, and work well with clients. I would say I need to focus most on presenting new ideas. My weakest area would be the design aspect of advertising. I would want to presesnt my ideas in a professional and eye-catching way for my clients. I am still very new to graphic design and computer design programs, but that is somthing I would really like to work on to add to my skill set.

Student

Okay, so this question is pulling me in so many different directions. My undergrad was in journalism, with a focus in sports reporting and videojournalism. With that, I needed to know shooting and editing of video, the rules and people of different sports and interviewing skills. However, now I'm getting my master's in advertising and I'm leaning more toward social media with video incorporated. With that, I'd need to know search engine optimization, the use of keywords and hashtags, be able to conversate with my audience, and so much more. I'd also need to know what I learned in my undergrad program with the video aspect and creativity is a must.

Currently, I have an internship with MSU Communications and Brand Strategy, and I absolutely love it. It incorporates everything I want to do, along with what I have been doing, as it includes social media work and creating videos. Basically, that's what I would like to do some day - social media with video incorporated.

Student

I am working on finishing my degree in Advertising. I know that it is a very competitive industry so I need to make sure that I have a wide skill set that will help me get a job in the field. I know that having strong communication skills are extremely important. Giving presentations that speak to the client and are persuasive is something that I will need to be able to do on a pretty regular basis. I am also working on fine tuning my design skills so that I can be able to create effective ads that are both visually appealing and effective for selling a product or service. Working thorugh this class is great because knowing how to market for social media is a skill that a lot of companies and business are looking for in a new hire. 

Student

The career I am pursuing is in Advertising with a specialization in Public Relations and Sales Communication so I think the skills I will need to be most successful would be in my writing, my communication skills and my persuasion skills.  I think I can have a broad knowledge of writing but I may have to be more focused on short concise writing for careers such as a public relations writer.  I think that having a broad base of skills that you are good at is a wonderful thing that many employers are looking for, but having a focus on one particular area might push you back a little bit.  I think that being able to do a multiple set of tasks is exactly what a employer is looking for when hiring a new person.  I think writing will be my main focus for my future careers whether it be writing for blogs or press releases so I need to have a broad base of different writing skills in order to make me successful in my future.

Student

Having a broad base of skills and a deep focus in a particular area is extremely important for success in the work field. Not only does a person need to be skilled in their area of expertise but also they need to understand other areas and skills to differentiate them from other candidates. Currently, I am studying advertising with a concentration in management and media & I am pursuing a career in speech language pathology. Oral and written communication, people, resourcefulness and imagination, patience, tolerance and persistence and sensitivity are skills that any speech language pathologist must have. Having a background in adverting has really helped me understand communication, marketing and psychological aspect of people, which will help differentiate me from other candidates and be the most successful person I can be.

Student

My major is Advertising and I think I need to have very good writing, communication, computer, and creative skills. I will need to be very professant in writing and communication becuase I am going into the management part of advertising and one of the most important parts of business is being able to communicate well  with fellow employees and clients. I also think I will need computer and creative skills because I want to be a well rounded employee and not just restricted to one area of advertising so I can help many company in many different ways. 

Student

While my major is Professional Writing, I am pursuing it with an emphasis on Digital Humanities.  I originally thought to be a freelance writer and write grants for non-profit organizations that focused on humanitarian efforts and animal welfare, but I realize that there are many more things that I can do with my writing career.  I chose the digital path because I'd also like to be able to create digital resumes, presentations and blog about becoming a freelance writer (as that's what I'm doing).  So, the center of my 'T' would be writing in general, the top of the 'T' will be blogging and web design.  I'm really excited about where things are going and feel that this class is going to really increase my versatility as a freelancer and will only add to my resume. 

Ross Johnson's picture
Instructor
6/18/2014
New Media, Social Media