Undergraduate Programs

Why I Love Communication at Clarkson

A student in a blue tanktop poses with both thumbs up on a mountaintop on a sunny day.

Hello! My name is Abby Bashaw ’21, and I am a senior communication major with a minor in new product development & marketing here at Clarkson University. I am from Cape Vincent, New York, a little less than two hours from campus, in New York state’s Thousand Islands region, and I am so glad that I chose Clarkson! 

I was originally at Keuka College as a nursing major, but after my first semester, I found that nursing was definitely not for me. During that semester, my advisor had thrown in a random communication class that I loved. When I told my professor I was thinking of changing my major, she was the one who had me considering communication as a major. When I decided that I wanted to start studying communication, I knew that meant I had to transfer, so I started looking at different schools. My final decision was Clarkson, obviously!

Why I Chose Clarkson

There are many reasons that I chose Clarkson. Of course, it was decently close to home, but still gave me my space. Clarkson is a school that I had grown up knowing — watching its hockey and always thinking so highly of its graduates. With that in mind, I was excited about the opportunity to come to Clarkson, because once you become a student, doors begin to open for you.

The job placement rate after graduation (97%!) and the recognition and network that come with being an alum were among the many reasons for my final decision to come to Clarkson. I came specifically for the communication department, but there are so many awesome classes that are offered.

When I visited (Be sure to visit!), my mind was made up. Actually seeing the campus and hearing one of my future professors talk about the amazing classes and what it would be like for me after I graduated from a school like Clarkson — well, I knew this was exactly where I wanted to be! 

Now, on to why I stayed here.

A Small, Personal Department

Two students in winter coats pose for a photo with a hockey game in the background.
My sister, Julia Bashaw, and I at a men’s hockey game

As a comm major, coming in, you should know that our department is small; we aren’t the big fancy engineers, but there are so many great things about being a comm student!

Due to the size of the department, your class sizes are usually small, and your professors are actually able to get to know you quite well, especially over the years. This has been something that I have come to appreciate.

Along with the small classes, you will likely have the same professors for a few different classes, which is great because you get to learn a lot about them, such as their connections outside of Clarkson and some of their awesome experiences. It’s also nice to go talk to a professor that you are comfortable with and ask for help. And the comm professors here at Clarkson are always willing to help!

The Professors

When I was asked who my favorite professor was, or what classes were my favorites, I was stumped. All of my professors have been great! How could I possibly choose just one??

I will say that Jason Schmitt, my advisor and the professor in some of my classes, has become one of my favorites for sure. He’s super helpful, always has a great story to tell and is extremely knowledgeable about what he is teaching. Jason is one of the professors who gets to know their students well and then pushes them to excel and reach their full potential. He is even a reason I got an article published!

And when I said I couldn’t choose just one professor, I meant it. Courtney Johnson-Woods is another one of my favorites here at Clarkson. She is one of the sweetest professors I have ever had. She truly cares about her students and always has us working on projects that we are interested in (which is a breath of fresh air sometimes).

Though I only named a couple, everyone in the Department of Communication is great, as are so many others from other departments!

The Classes

As for my favorite class, I would say either User Experience Design, or Writing for New Media — and my favorite non-comm-related class would be Consumer Behavior. Surprisingly, I was on the fence about each of these classes before taking them! 

It is also important to note that though many of our classes are fun and exciting, they can be challenging, of course. With that being said, there are so many outlets for help. 

Personally, I am comfortable enough with my professors that I always reach out. Whether it be in helping with the material or giving suggestions on how to raise my grade, they are always willing to help. One of the most beneficial things about the comm department here is that the professors are more concerned about you learning the material than your letter grade. 

The Opportunities

Two students stand on either side of a large buoy on a river.
My best friend, Anna Hoover, and I out on the St. Lawrence River!

Clarkson is not only about the classes that you take and the professors that teach them. The opportunities that come with being a student here are unbeatable!

As I mentioned, last spring semester, I got my first article published, which was all thanks to Jason. This opportunity has been something I love to brag about and have stars around on my resume.

Not only did I publish an article last semester, but I also had the opportunity to make a website for a local company. Due to the pandemic, many small businesses were struggling, which one of our professors was very well aware of. A business owner reached out to the college and local companies to see if we could do something about this. Long story short, our professor picked a few of us from class, and instead of completing our final project, as a group, we all created and designed a website.

Both of these experiences have been great resume builders, and they have also been fun projects! 

As a communication student at Clarkson, in your senior year, you must complete an internship to graduate. Over this past summer, I completed a remote summer graphic design/comm internship with a company for three months. This opportunity has been extremely helpful, especially with many companies moving to remote operations.

Consider Clarkson!

I think any student interested in communication should consider Clarkson. Our program offers so many beneficial classes, with many that will set you apart from other candidates when you’re searching for an internship or a job. Not only are the professors great, but the alumni are too. So many alums are willing to help you find jobs or are just a great reference. 

So, there you have it. I hope this post was helpful for any prospective students thinking of coming to Clarkson for communication. The time that I have had at Clarkson is something I am very grateful for, and I am excited to be a Clarkson alum, like so many others!

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