Saturday, October 22, 2011

Communication Careers In Tech

Communication Careers at tech companies in Austin was a panel for Mass Communication week and was held in the Alkek teaching theatre Wednesday October 20, 2011. It featured several speakers from tech companies such as Andrew Waldrup, Culture Evangelist from Gowalla; Whitney Francis, Community Manager from Google; and Jennifer Stafford from HomeAway.

I was disappointed with the content of this lecture. I felt like the only thing they talked about was social media. I understand the benefits of using social media a little better now, but I wish the efforts to obtain the jobs the panel had and their accomplishments were highlighted more effectively.

I felt the grad student that interviewed the panel seemed really bored and under prepared, and it was a lot of information about social media-which had already been covered in other sessions. His questions didn’t really cover any areas other than that of social media and how the panel uses it in their jobs. Also, the set up with him standing behind the panel was awkward, because the speakers would answer his questions and then turn around and look at him like-“what’s next?” There was nothing compelling about this “loose interview” style and I found myself getting bored with what they were talking about.

Also, I will take this time to put in my two cents about requiring students to attend Mass Comm Week events. My question is- why are we doing this? Even bigger question- why are we offering incentives like extra credit for students to attend Mass Comm Week Events? I know we want to have packed rooms for these panels, I get that, and speakers should be talking to a packed room, because their work is important- and we can learn a lot from them. That alone should make people want to attend the events. My problem is with those that are required to come to the event showing up just because they have to be there and being disrespectful audience members. I had to tell several people in front of me to SHUT UP so that I could hear what was going on, and one girl even was so rude as to answer a phone call during the lecture! I was disgusted. Maybe it wasn’t the most interesting material in the world that was being discussed; however, if you want to talk to your stupid friends you should do it on your own time and not be disrespecting the speakers. Mass Comm Week has now incorporated live video feed for most Mass Comm Week events, so I guess I am just not understanding why we are requesting the presence of people who don’t want or care to be there.

So this is my one wish for Mass Comm Week next year, for the sake of other students who want to get through a lecture without having to shush people, professors please consider making Mass Comm Week event attendance optional for your classes.

That is really all I have to say about the panel. It was my least favorite of all the events I attended, and I feel that it had to do with the venue, the disrespectful audience and lack of preparedness by the host and less with the speakers. Cindy might be spread a little thin, but I hope that next year she interviews all the speakers.


Nicole George said...

You tell 'em girl!

Taylor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Taylor said...

Jackie I love reading your posts. I agree with you 100%. If there's one thing that I hate it's talking during presentations. It makes things so awkward and makes the speaker feel uncomfortable and it's just not good for our reputation. Thanks for your honesty.

P.S. it says I deleted a comment. It's because I found a typo and I hate typos in comments.