Senior Chris DeFelice on the Distinguished Communicator experience
Are you trying to decide if the Distinguished Communicator program is right for you? Spoiler: it is. But don’t just take our word for it, hear it first-hand from one of your peers. Chris DeFelice, a senior in public relations, shares his path to becoming a Distinguished Communicator and how the program is already impacting his career trajectory.
Starting LSU in Fall of 2016 was one of the most intimidating and confusing times of my life. Moving away and stepping out into a new world after high school made me feel as though my safety net was removed. As all of this newly found stress started piling onto me, I couldn’t help but feel as though I should have my life a little more together at this point.
Now, if there are any incoming freshmen reading this, the first thing I want you to know is that you do NOT need to have everything figured out at this point. In fact, most incoming freshman won’t. College is where you have most of your character development. It’s the time to explore options and try new things. It’s the time to try and fail and learn from your mistakes. But most importantly, it’s the time to set yourself up to achieve your own personal version of success using the resources available to you.
One of the greatest and most beneficial tools available to you at LSU is the Communication across the Curriculum (CxC) program. Not many students know that this incredible program is available to them, which can be accredited to it only being well known among certain majors. However, it is not limited to engineers or mass communicators; any student in any major can become a Distinguished Communicator and be all the better for it.
I originally heard about CxC from one of my professors during my sophomore year, and had no idea what she was talking about. I started looking into the program and how it worked, and decided to give it a try. After taking part in the communication-intensive (C-I) courses and participating in CxC workshops and meetings, I not only decided to complete the program, but I realized how beneficial it is for me, both in school and in my career.
For my own personal career, I have always had an interest in film and television, but originally thought that all film-related careers were based around production. I never really explored career options outside of production until joining the Manship School of Mass Communication. I decided to explore pursuing a career in film advertising and publicity, but I had no idea where to start. The CxC program connected me to Dr. Lance Porter, who has a lot of experience in the field. Dr. Porter’s advice and guidance has helped me set a path to where I want to be and has opened doors to new possibilities.
To get a head start in my career, I began the process of searching for internships and ended up getting one with WAFB in their digital department. I use the skills and advice I learned from my experience with CxC to be productive in my time there, including interviewing and information gathering for a feature story about the CxC program for WAFB’s website. This experience has developed my interest in the news industry, allowing me to consider other career options outside of my original plan.
The greatest thing about participating in the Distinguished Communicator program is that the skills I am acquiring and the advice that I am given can be used in any career path that I decide to pursue. Job interviews, team building, and professional networking are just some of the skills that CxC emphasizes—all of which can be used to succeed in any industry or profession. Communication is an essential skill for anyone to be successful in any career, and this program is specifically designed to give you those skills as well as an individual experience based on your own personal goals.
If there is one thing I want you to take away from my story is that any student can benefit from this program. It has expanded my career options and strengthened my communication skills in a way that my regular curriculum could not. Communication across the Curriculum has given me the tools to succeed and can do the same for you.