I once heard someone saying that school education is a basis for all the knowledge we earn in the coming years. Prima facia, it is a well known fact. But when I deeply thought about it, I found a lot of examples where people who excelled in their studies in schools, failed in real life, and vice versa. Thus I began to think, and when possible, discuss with others, how much knowledge and skills they earned from school, is being put to use at the job they are handling. This led me to another question, “Is all this stress given to school level education really needed?” One question leading to another, this train of thoughts travelled a whole lot of places before I decided to note down some of the thoughts. That is the moment I determined to write this essay about my own case. Through this essay, I am trying to show, to what extent, I use the knowledge and skills I acquired from school education in the job I am doing.
Regarding my education, my academic major was “Media and Cultural Studies”. As one would expect, I learned about history, social sciences, politics, various cultures, media, and importantly, communication. As a student, I never knew how I was going to apply what I have learned to any job that I may take up in the future. I didn’t even know what type of job I was going to do after my education. At that time, I had glimpses of these thoughts on our present topic, but I never took it this much seriously. As my education went on, I began to get somewhat proficient in what I was studying, but I always thought all those topics learned were a waste of time, because, I never had seen a real-life job where what I learned was required.
2. Job Description
Now moving on to my job, I am a Communication manager in an International Company. Basically, Communication management is the management of all the communications within the organisation and with other organisations. But, as a communication manager, my duties do not confine to it. I perform duties of a wide range, like translation, designing, marketing and even some film-making.
3. Application of Knowledge and Skills to Various Duties
In order to understand how much the education helped me in my job, I am going to take up one duty at a time and analyse the degree of application of the educational knowledge on it. Since there are many duties that I perform, making it impossible to list them all, I am analysing only the important few.
3.1. Communication of policies, decision, changes etc to the employees.
This is one of the important duties that communication managers have to perform. Being an international organisation, we have a large base of employees. And it is our duty to ensure each and every one of them receives the message being transmitted, correctly. This is one duty where everything I learned about communication is being put to use. Employees are from different cultures, and they might interpret the same message differently. So we have to be extremely cautious about the words used in the message as well as the medium used to transmit the message. Since some messages about board decisions, policy changes etc can be very sensitive and important, we have no room for error, and we always have to be at our best. If not for all the communications classes I have attended, I would have failed miserably in performing this duty.
3.2. Preparation of presentations, internal memos and various documents, records etc.
During my education, I would not have even dreamt about preparing these in my real-life other than for some assignments or projects. But as it turns out, preparing these is an integral part of my work now. The presentations I have prepared as a media student is numerous. Also the number of documents whose formats I have studies is too many. These knowledge and skills that I have acquired from education is being applied in my job on a daily basis.
3.3. Representation of the organisation to various stakeholders.
Apart from the various duties that the communication managers perform internally, we have a vital duty to perform externally: representing the organisation to various persons who are interested. It includes explaining the policies of the organisation, its position on issues etc. It may be accomplished through publishing press releases, interviewing personalities or distributing media kits. The knowledge about different media, the skills to prepare media kits, the experience of conducting interviews and much more are with me only because of my education. These are exactly the requirements to properly complete this duty.
Even though translation is not much of an integral part of the job of a communication manager, it is a frequent duty for me as a part of a world-wide organisation. And it needs to be mentioned that it has helped me to earn a considerable reputation inside the organisation. It’s the knowledge of more than 3 languages that made me capable of being a good translator. Also, knowledge about various cultures contributed here. These are all qualities that I collected as a media and cultures student.
Communication managers have a vital role to play in marketing. Marketing involves communication with the customers and the target market. The people to whom the messages are to be sent may have linguistic, cultural and many other differences. Being a media and cultures student, I knew the points to be kept in mind while performing this duty.
Through analysing five of the most important duties performed by me as a communication manager, and matching it with the knowledge, skills and experience I earned as a media and cultures student, we can confidently say that the qualities acquired through education themselves are the bases for the qualities needed to be successful in their respective jobs. It is true that the important qualities for career success are to be gathered gradually from work experiences. But we should not forget that the underlying qualities for these come from the school-level education itself. The examples where academically successful people do not succeed in their career happen because of the lack of development of their qualities, and not because of lack of relation between education and career success.