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School of Communication Studies: Reflective Self Analysis

Kent State University
Jowan M. Cole

Self Analysis
World renowned artist Salvadore Dali once said: In order to acquire a growing
and lasting respect in society, it is a good thing, if you possess great talent, to give, early
in your youth, a very hard kick to the right shin of the society that you love. After that, be
a snob.
With that being said, I have to say that the respect that I have gained in society as
a young professional has come from my evolution as a student, a man, and my heritage.
Growing up in inner city Baltimore, MD, it was almost expected that I get ahead by
getting involved in crime, drugs, and any other negative entity that plagues some of our
troubled youth in todays society. Luckily, I had two loving parents and a strong mind to
get away from that type of thinking. Being that I am one of the first of the millennial
generation in my family to go off to college, I was expected to set the standard for my
younger brother and the rest of my family. My family has worked hard in the best of
ways to make sure that we had what we needed as opposed to what was given to us, and I
was expected to follow that tradition by being the example.
The best part of my journey throughout my evolving manhood and college
experience were the naysayers and proving my negative counterparts wrong. I was told at
a very young age that I could not, by everyone from teachers to distant family members.
From that point on, I was determined to make that opinion my motivation. I did
everything I could to be at the top of my game whether that was through academic
experience or extracurricular experience. I got the best grades I could and with my
parents blessing, I applied to schools all over the globe.

Self Analysis
Applying for my undergraduate experience, I applied to about 17 schools and was
accepted into about eight of them. Although originally not my first choice, I knew by
intricate design that applying to Kent State University would be one of the best decisions
I have ever made. Prior to applying, I only knew about three things about Kent: the May
4th shooting, the notorious fashion school, and the persistent admissions counsellors who
were determined to get my family to come visit. In an effort to narrow down my choices,
I declined six of those eight admissions offers and it came down to just two Kent State
and St. Johns University in Queens, NY. After comparing both campuses and getting a
few signs from above, I was sure that Kent State was the right choice. However, I still
wasnt sure exactly how I was going to get through four years at a university that was six
hours away from the comfort of my home. I entered college with the mindset of a traveler
therefore, I wanted my college experience to reflect just that. I did not know what I
wanted to study at first, so I wanted to explore my options. Growing up, I had so many
different interests. Everything ranging from entertainment to fashion, to art and design,
and even psychology choosing a major was one of the hardest parts of my college
With that being said, I was admitted into Kent State as a Communication Studies
major. I was not entirely sure what Communication Studies entailed, so I was really sure
that it just meant I would be able to talk to and communicate with different people upon
receiving my degree. What I did not know was that my degree could really mean
anything that I put into it. I first decided to choose Global Communication as my
concentration. This was most likely a product of hearing that I and my peers would be
amongst the first few people to be in this specific degree program and how much time I

Self Analysis
could spend studying abroad. However, I struggled with foreign languages in my first
few semesters at Kent State. After this happened, I decided I wanted to go a different
route and focus on graphic design as my entire high school academic experience was
studying graphic arts and communication. Since I had experience, I thought this would be
the best route for me to go, and I decided to double major in both Visual Communication
Design and Global Communication Studies. Unfortunately, this decision did not prove to
be as fitting for my college career as I originally intended. I was not a fan of how the
VCD program was set up, and after two attempts at advancing to the next studio course, I
decided it was best that I take a different approach. At the same rate, my global
communication major in conjunction with the visual communication design major proved
to be a bit of a hassle as well due to foreign language courses.
Because I wanted to stay within the realms of Communication Studies, I decided
to then do a bit of soul searching and study some of the other concentrations. I did a bit of
pondering on which track would be the best for me to concentrate on and eventually,
advisor Lorie Hopp informed me of all the benefits of the applied communication track.
After finding out applied communication was a combination of communication studies,
visual communication design, and journalism & mass communication, I was sure that this
was the right program for me. After declaring applied communication as my
concentration, I then made global communication my minor and that was the beginning
of a journey within Taylor Hall that I would never forget.
Being that I still had a passion for travel and global relations, I wanted to do my
best to experience the study abroad programs that Kent State had to offer. Initially, I
wanted to participate in the semester-long Florence program under the School of

Self Analysis
Communication Studies, but at that point, I had already taken most of the suggested
courses for that program on the Kent State campus. Therefore, I had to take another route
in order to study abroad. Being from a big city, I had always had dreams of experiencing
London, England and Paris, France. In an effort to combine my love for travel, art, and
culture, I utilized the global education offices study abroad web tool to find a program
suited for where I wanted to go. At a fraction of the cost, I was able to find a program that
as well as allowed me to travel and fulfil my art credit requirement. For two weeks, I got
the chance to study in London and Paris with Professor Fred Smith and 14 students, three
of which were communication studies majors. The Study Travels in Art History course
allowed us all to go to different art museums, historical sites, and tourist areas across the
London, Salisbury, and Paris regions.
For someone like me, seeing these places the Louvre, Big Ben, Stonehenge
proved that I could go anywhere and do nearly anything with my communication studies
degree. Needless to say, my restless mind yearned for more. It was in Europe that I also
realized my love for the art of marketing. One of the most notable things I remember
about those places is the differences and similarities they have in consumer marketing
materials and advertisements. Notably, advertisements are nearly the same in every major
consumer region across the globe. What is different is the way the message is conveyed.
After comparing some of the French advertisements I saw in Paris, I realized the love I
had for that region-generated message. I knew then that I had to somehow make
marketing an important part of my college career. Upon returning to Kent the following
semester, I immediately went to my advisor and added marketing as my minor.

Self Analysis
During my college career, I have been sure to involve myself in a multitude of
extracurricular activities. I have been involved with everything from a campus
publication, to a radio show, a fashion organization, and a social organization. However, I
realized what I was missing was practical experience. I had begun to work with the INDI
Group, LLC, a branding platform for artists, started by a fellow communications student.
On the INDI team, I have been involved as a communications and marketing manager,
working on campaigns and creative marketing as a reflection of my studies. Also, I was
hired as a production intern in summer of 2014 at New Chapter Entertainment, a
television production agency in Chicago, IL an experience that also changed my life.
In my final two semesters, I realized I wanted to foster the connection between
communication studies and marketing while in school at the same time. Upon seeing an
internship opening for a marketing and public relations assistant for Lindsay Kuntzman in
the School of Communication Studies in May, I jumped right on it. By grace, I was
chosen for the position. In this semester I have been able to strengthen my skills in
communication through journalism, public relations tactics, and graphic design. I am
eternally grateful for this opportunity, as it has allowed me to see the possibilities of what
I can do as a communication studies major.
In conclusion, I would have never imagined that I would make it this far in my
college career being so far removed from my Baltimore roots. More recently, I have been
hired as Client Service Operations Intern at Brandmuscle, Inc., a marketing solutions firm
located in downtown Cleveland. As a CSOI, I am expected to assist account executives
and marketing officials as they foster clients and build their company base. I have high
hopes that Brandmuscle will help me to expand my professional experience upon

Self Analysis
finishing the position, and possibly even offer me a full time position after I graduate in
May of 2016. With the proper support of my family, my diligence, and the advantages of
my communication studies degree, I have to say this would be a college experience that I
would wish on anyone who is interested in attending Kent State. I have dreams of
travelling the world and connecting people through the art of communication and I have
to say, Kent State has prepared me for that experience. I am hopeful that my experience
at Kent State has allowed me to give a very hard kick to the right shin of the society
that you love as Dali says.

Self Analysis


Hotchkiss, S. (2012). Your Morning Shot: Salvadore Dali. GQ Magazine. Retrieved from