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Odd Requirements or Necessary Knowledge?

The Department of Communication and Journalism at Auburn University is one of the largest departments on campus. Opportunities to major in four different programs and take fascinating courses helps make this department popular to Auburn University students.

Each prospective student is required to follow a curriculum guide for their desired major. The curriculum guide includes a list of all major courses, offers a few choices for certain hours and also requires supporting coursework. Students are required by the department to take nine hours of supporting coursework and choose between management or marketing. 

A professor in the College of Business and a student majoring in public relations share their perspectives on the requirements, how they believe they are beneficial and why these requirements are necessary. 

Angela Ianuzzi teaches management courses here at Auburn University. Ianuzzi believes that an understanding of basic management and marketing topics is important for a public relations major. 

"The job of a public relations professional is all about maintaining the image of businesses and other types of organizations. A deeper understanding of organizational culture, behavior of employees and customers, firm reputation, strategic crisis management and group communication is essential for a better understanding of the inter-workings of an organization as well as how to communicate these complexities to the public," said Ianuzzi.

Ianuzzi says there is no limit to how much knowledge a student can learn about one class or program, but has confidence that the offered courses in management and marketing provide a great overview of the topics. She also said that it is up to the student to successfully apply it to their field of study in a meaningful way.

The decision to choose between management or marketing is obviously up to the student. Ianuzzi said because of her knowledge of management, she thinks that a general management class would be great for most people entering a variety of fields, not just public relations.

"Management courses shed light on specific relationships and behavioral dynamics that are apparent in most organizational environments and are beneficial not just for those who are managers, but for all employees," said Ianuzzi. 

Her advice to prospective students is to simply take advantage of the opportunities they are given. "I truly believe that you only find out what it is that you like and dislike by experiencing the job requirements and dynamics of an actual organization by interning and other shadowing and mentorship programs," said Ianuzzi.

Brooke Bonner, another student majoring in public relations, decided to take marketing classes for her supporting coursework and explained what motivated her to make that decision.

"I knew the differences between the subjects, but wasn't sure which one would be useful for me in my career. I did a little research, but I just felt like marketing was a better fit," said Bonner.

Bonner does not think that the curriculum requirements are peculiar. She believes marketing classes will be beneficial to her future career in public relations and that utilizing the marketing information will allow her to broaden her options of career choices.

After seeing the different perspectives of two people involved with the curriculum, it became clear. Nine hours of supporting coursework is not an odd requirement, but a necessity to further developing knowledge in public relations.

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Tags: Course, Faculty, Requirement, Students

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