For so long I was told not to pursue a dual degree with Business Administration and Communications. Advisors told me there was no overlap and more work than what it was worth. Even though it has made my schedule much busier than I expected, I have found many similarities between the classes I am taking in both schools. Marketing models are discussed in communications classes. Social media is discussed in Information Systems classes. Corporate Communications and Organizational Behavior are discussed in both schools. The overlap has really proved to be endless. And to cap it off, professionals in both fields point out the benefits of having these two degrees.
The similarities first became apparent to me last year in my Corporate Communications and Organizational Behavior classes. In both classes, the culture of an organization and its importance was discussed in detail. When people apply for jobs, it is vital to identify the culture and see whether or not it fits a person’s lifestyle. There was an example presented to us in OB where a former student chose a job with an open cubicle where he could communicate with others in a more comfortable fashion as oppose to being shut in a private room with bleak walls. At my first internship, the culture was open and friendly. The cubicles were all in a big room, and all of the VPs kept their doors open. Employees were constantly talking across the room and over their cubicles, and the environment was relaxed and comfortable.
Over the summer, my internship involved communications from a business perspective. I interacted with employees across departments are truly witnessed firsthand the importance of having a business and communications background. My daily tasks involved aspects of what I had learned in my classes. Yes, the Corporate Communications and Organizational Behavior classes came into play, as they would at any internship, but my PR, accounting, and statistics classes helped me to further understand the assignments at hand.
Finally, today the connection became evident. I have already seen my Information Systems class having the potential to benefit other Communications students. We have discussed building a website, the uses of social media, and other ways to market a person online. We also touched upon the use of the Internet for small businesses. This topic brought me back to an old blog post of mine from August 18th, which highlighted a “New York Times” article discussing the benefits of Twitter to small businesses. We talked about how small businesses are getting the edge over their larger competitors through marketing themselves online. It is cheaper, easier, and truly makes a difference. My professor pointed out a bike shop in Newton, Massachusetts that markets internationally to its customers because it does not have much success locally. All of this information seems to fall quite closely to the blurred lines between business and communications.
So I’m not trying to write this blog post to prove my advisors wrong (even though it accomplishes that as well), but I want to show the interesting aspects of two disciplines that fit so well together. Combining these two degrees is not like studying two different areas but really intersecting similar interests.