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Tyler Danielson

Self-Reflective Analysis
Applied Communication Practicum

Reflective Self Analysis

My journey through Kent State University has provided me with valuable communication
skills that I have been able to demonstrate and carry over into my internship, career choices and
life experiences. As an Applied Communication major at Kent State, I have learned how to
interact and project thoughts and ideas visually, interpersonally, within a group, written and in an
organizational setting. In simple terms, I have learned the value and skillset of communicating at
multiple levels. Fortunately, I have been able to carry these communication skills with me
through many different paths in my life.
The start of my academic career at Kent State started at the Stark Campus. Coming in as
a freshman, I had the idea of joining the Visual Communication Design program (VCD) but
would work on my beginner courses at a smaller campus. Of course I had to take prerequisites
and electives before starting my major course work. I can honestly say that I enjoyed some of
these early courses such as Art History, Biology and Sociology. Through these courses I feel I
became well rounded. Learning the specifics of art and understanding the terms helped guide me
further into my quest of visual communication design. Specifically the use of line, shapes and
color working together to make one beautiful piece of art. Thats how a great design or piece of
art is created, multiple characteristics of art working together and finding a balance. Many
aspects from Art History helped me with creating the designs in VCD I and II. Biology was not
related to my major but I feel I have learned things in the course that I have knowledge of now in
my everyday life. The learning of how the world works in mysterious ways through natural
disasters as well as how these phenomenas a created. I learned how an earthquake, like the one
right off the coast of Japan in 2011, causes another disaster in a Tsunami. I have never been
physically a part of any of these occurrences however when these types of events happen around

the world, I have a better understanding of the situation and how it occurred. Sociology was in a
way the beginning of my communication career without even knowing it. This course taught me
the founders of sociology and communication such as Durkheim, Karl Marx and Max Weber and
how they applied theory to understanding how people truly communicate. Sociology taught me
the stepping stones to understanding how people communicate and why. This course in particular
ended up carrying over into what I major in now, Applied Communication. Hearing familiar
names and theories being brought up in Communication Theory for example, allowed me to
make connections and have a better understanding of where theories come from and how they
are applied. In many ways the beginnings courses of my freshman year gave me knowledge that
applied to my major but also touched on important situations in the news and around the world.
After a full year in the VCD program at Kent State, I started to realize that the visual
aspect of the communication process wasnt for me. I realized I was much better and more
interested in the use of communication in human interaction. My sophomore year I decided to
change majors and join the Communication Studies program. I was fortunate to have some of my
VCD credits transfer over to Applied Communication because it incorporates courses from the
School of Journalism, Visual Design and Communication Studies.
The first course I took in Communication Studies was Intro to Human Communication.
The entire class consisted of three speeches, informative, persuasive and a speech focused
around a topic we enjoyed. The most important skills I have now as a senior came from this
course which is public speaking and presenting. Throughout my entire academic career I am
confident in saying that my speech and presentation skills have improved dramatically. I have
carried this skill into other courses such as Business and Professional Communication, High
Impact Speaking, Pubic Communication in Society, and almost every other communication

course because each course generally has a presentation assignment. In these courses I excelled
at my speaking and presentation skills and received very high grades on the related assignments.
Not only has the skills and confidence of public speaking helped me in almost all of my
communication courses, but it has helped me in situations in my personal life. An example was
when my grandmother passed away. I used what I had learned in Human Communication to
speak at the funeral and tell the audience the many memories my grandmother and I shared.
Another example hasnt even happened yet but will allow me to demonstrate my public
speaking. In the summer of 2016 my best friend will be getting married. He asked me to be his
best man. I am excited to demonstrate my speaking abilities that I have learned here at Kent State
and utilize them in honoring my friend at his wedding. The ability to present information,
thoughts and ideas as well as speak in front of large audiences with confidence is the most
important and improved skill I have been able to take away from Kent States School of
Communication and Information.
While working towards my degree in the School of Communication and Information,
there were a few courses that really challenged me to overcome obstacles and perform at a higher
level than I thought I ever could. The first course that comes to mind is Nonverbal
Communication. The course was difficult not because of the work but because of the content.
The ideas, terms and research findings were at a micro-level. As a student, detail became very
important in understanding things such has facial expressions and what they meant in specific
social situations. We also learned about nonverbal motions and what they mean in social settings.
In a way, the class was based heavily around observation which opened up a new door for me in
how I communicate with others while also being able to observe those around me. The final
paper was also a major challenge. It was a 10-12 page paper on the evaluation of a TV show of

our choosing. Within the TV show, we had to pick one individual and take notes on their
nonverbal behaviors and connect them to previous research findings. The final paper was
challenging because I have never written a 10-12 page paper and was skeptical on whether or not
I would have enough content to compare and contrast. Overall I did very well in the class and the
final paper. I felt extremely accomplished in the work I completed and became more confident in
the workload that I was able to handle. Outside of school I have used these micro-level details to
relate to co-workers at my job, understanding facial expressions and meaning with my girlfriend
and being sure I am projecting the proper expressions during different social events or
Another course that challenged me was High Impact Professional Speaking. This course
in particular required a lot of work on lengthy speeches while also touching on creating a slide
show that would look professional. What I learned from this course ties back to what I learned
starting off in Intro to Human Communication. Some of the tools I had learned in the intro
course and had carried over to High Impact Speaking were such as using proper tones and
volume so that the audience can hear you, know who your target audience is, holding back on
uh and um phrases, using pauses to your advantage in promoting thought and using hand
gestures to engage with the audience. Although I had some tools I had already learned, this
course challenged me in the aspect of creating presentations packed with information while
keeping a time limit. Balancing time and information was the most challenging part of this
course because it required paying attention to detail and knowing how to keep on track with the
important information. Overall I performed very well in this course and even received an email
from the professor asking to use one of my presentations as an example for the next semester of

students. Whats amazing about completing this course is that I was able to use some of the
valuable tools I had previously learned and fine tune my skills of speaking professionally.
Today, I am interning in the Human Resources Department at Kent State University. My
major in Applied Communication had allowed me to venture out and find an internship suitable
to my career choice. While interning, I have learned valuable skills in the office style workplace
but have been able to apply my communication skills in completing various tasks and editing
information that goes out to the entire department. I am excited to put this experience on my
resume and gain references that can take me to the next level after I graduate college. I also look
forward to carrying with me everything I have learned during my internship opportunity and
using them in the best way possible in my new job.
My plans for after graduation are quite similar to where I am at now with my internship. I
would like to continue a career path in human resources and find an entry-level job that I can
start with. In the long run I would like to work my way up the chain of human resources until I
become a Human Resources Manager and can then figure out whats next. Some
companies/organizations I have looked at and find intriguing to work for include Sherwin
Williams, Kent State University, Cleveland Clinic, Nestle and Target. Many of these places have
great employee satisfaction while also hiring right out of college. My goal is to work in the
human resources department for one of these great companies/organizations and work my way
up to a management position by using what I have learned from the School of Communication
and Information. I feel confident in my ability to perform at a high-level because of what I have
learned in my degree. The future seems bright and I am excited to elevate into a career that can
allow me to demonstrate my tremendous communication skills.