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  • Writer's pictureMatt Shaw

5 Things You’re Tired of Hearing as a Creative Public Affairs Student

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

By: Leah Coppella

To all my fellow creative public affairs students: The one thing that I am told most often about my choice in major is that it isn’t creative enough for me. And I’ll admit, communication or journalism isn’t something most automatically equate with creativity. Public affairs in itself is viewed as unimaginative and therefore, an uninspiring pursuit. But, communication can open more than one door. From political journalist to graphic designer, communication has everything you need to explore your artsy side. But, following are those comments that you, no doubt, hear way too much:

“But you’re so creative!”

Yes, you know this. That’s why you chose this faculty. You’re aware that this path can take you to a creative job position that doesn’t slack off in technical skills. Artistic passion? Check. The practical skills to go along with it? Double check.

“You’ll find it hard to be a neutral writer”

You’ve been told that you’re opinionated. Good. You’ll have more passion and motivation for topics that interest you than the next person, making you stand out in a crowd. You’ve probably also got a knack for rhetoric. Also, being subjective in a big organization is sometimes refreshing.

“You’ll miss being an individual”

Uh, hello. You’re still using your brain. It’s not like once you’ve dived into the world of public affairs, you’re trapped for eternity in a conforming black hole void of individuality. Public affairs is different in the fact that you do a lot of networking, which involves, you guessed it, you as an individual.

“You can’t use creativity to solve any real-world issues”

In fact, creative thinking is actually the only thing that solves conflicts and develops ideas. Without it, us public affairs students would be lost in a sea of communication with a means without an end. And besides, the most influential political and social movements have been led by outside-of-the-box thinkers such as David Henry Thoreau, Martin Luther King Jr. and Gloria Steinem.

“You’ll have to find some kind of creative outlet outside of work and school”

No, actually. You can merge your originality with your work and school because you’ve learned how. When writing assignments, you always have the one-up because you add a creative spin. At work, you’re the first to offer up innovative solutions. And outside of work and school? Well, you can pretty much do what makes you happy. Which all connects together pretty well.

Communication is not only a skill, it’s an art. Whether you decide to take on a career as a digital strategist, art director, copy writer or web developer, is up to you. But, just know that there are artistic jobs out there, even if your peers try to convince you otherwise.

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