When being a jack-of-all-trades is a good thing

Lizzy Leonard
3rd Year Bachelor of Communication student

Considering how to match your broad range of interests to a multitude of degree options? Maybe you’re destined for a communication pathway that’ll open many doors.

You know the saying: “a jack of all trades, master of none”. For the fast-paced world of communication, having a foot in many worlds and being adaptable is often far better than being a master of just one.

Perhaps you are someone who believes they don’t have a particular passion in life, or you get passionate about something for a short time then move on? You have screeds of passion, but they are time-limited, or have multiple interests but not one defined talent or skill? If you have a breadth of knowledge across many areas and can be a jack of all trades, but you’re by no means a specialist in any – welcome to my world.

I arrived at Massey in 2018 to start my communication degree, after working in a homeless hostel for two years in England. I realised that when people didn’t understand what businesses, organisations, institutions, or governmental departments did, they could make uniform decisions based on hearsay rather than fact, which could ultimately result in huge repercussions (especially for charities). I found a passion for educating people, but I did not want to be boxed into one area, and comms has made that possible. Comms provides the opportunity to connect with people and translate their experience into words. It shows me the power words can have, and that language will always unite us as humans and especially as Kiwis in a global context.

If you feel yourself floundering in the mess of English, arts, business, and humanities choices then this degree encompasses a taste of all. You’ll get to learn about things like creative writing, filming and editing, marketing and content strategy, and how to build a communication plan. So that upon graduating, you are prepared to launch your career into a wide range of creative fields or to dive deeper into the area you like the flavour of most. I am nearing the end of my degree, and currently doing an internship, so can honestly and wholly admit that I actually use the theory I have been taught and that the everyday comms language we use in our degree is used in the real world of communications.

So maybe you get bored easily or lose interest quickly and see this as a negative? Nope. Maybe instead you’re destined for the comms world – a fast-paced and exciting adventure. 2020 has shown just how important communication is, especially in a crisis (cheers COVID) and that a communication degree provides you with the skills to adapt to a world that changes faster than political opinions. The discipline doesn’t sit around using old theories; it brings you real-world best practice, lecturers who care (because they’re industry professionals), and a degree that sets you up for almost anything. So maybe you can change your perspective that a flippant interest in lots of different things isn’t a negative after all. Maybe it’s the perfect credential for you to thrive in the world of communication.

To find out how you can unlock 280+ career choices with one Communication degree, visit massey.ac.nz/study-communication


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