Update | The first term

Good 'whatever-the-part-of-the-day-it-might-be-when-you-are-reading-this'.

Because Blogspot has an amazing option that shows me how many people read certain posts, I saw that all of you really liked -or disliked, and you wanted to show you friends how amazingly stupid I am, duh!- my latest 'Update' post. So, to me this is some feedback on what I should be writing about more. You all seem fairly interested in my life -which I totally understand, I mean, glitter glamour all the way?!- and that is why I'm putting this post up for you right now! I've been struggling a bit, I didn't know what to write due to a lack of interesting things happening in my life. But, then I suddenly realised; I've been learning so many interesting new things that I could share with you all, right? So, that's what I'll be doing today! What have I been learning? How does my study programm inspire me? Do I get a better insight in what I want to be doing for the rest of my life?


The courses I have been following are called..
.. Introduction to Communication
.. Introduction to Intercultural Communication
.. Introduction to Internal Communication
.. Introduction to Marketing
.. English Skills I and II

So, you can see that I've been having a lot of introductions. 'Hi, my name is Stella, and yours? Oh hi, my name is Communication'. Yeah.
To inform you a little bit more, I'll explain to you what everything is about.

Communication
When I tell people I'm studying Communication, they all say 'What exactly are you studying then? Isn't it amazingly broad?'.  And yes, it is. As you can see, there are many different ways to communicate, and many different areas of communication I'll be introduced to during these 3 years. Let's say that communication as a whole is: "When people are sharing ideas, perceptions, information or emotions in order to create mutual understanding". Communication is a two-way process. Right now, I'm communicating with you guys. However, this is a one-way process, because you're not responding to me. When you were, or will be, our communication process will change into a two-way one. What I've been learning in this course are different theories and methods people use while communicating with their audiences/target population/receiver groups and what channel they're using to do that.

Intercultural Communication
Communicating with your family is generally way easier than with others. This depends on how close your relationships are. But, why is it more difficult to communicate with someone from another country? Sometimes even from another part of your country? Because people from different cultures have different sets of beliefs, values and perceptions. Also, culture is the software of the mind. Every single creature out there has been taught how to communicate through the glasses of their own culture, so to speak. An example can be that us Dutchies come from a Low Context Culture. This means that when we want to express our feelings or opinions or just information, we use words. What we say is what we mean, nothing else. Nevertheless, this also depends on personal traits. But, this is in general, keep that in mind. People from a High Context Culture tend to be less 'speaky'. They'll use non-verbal messages, such as eyemovements, bodylanguage, handgestures etc. to make clear to the other 'part' of the conversation what they think or feel. To me, this is amazingly interesting.

Internal Communication
What makes people committed to their jobs? What is needed to ensure that all employees are moving in the same direction? Organizations spend a lot of money on marketing -getting their products or services out there-, on financial interest -attracting share holders to invest in their company- and on governments -making sure that the laws that are created will not be in disadvantage of the company-. But what a lot of organizations, or at least the leaders of those organizations, forget is that how people communication with eachother internally and how employees feel about their jobs and about you as a manager, is vital! It is extremely important that your employees trust you, especially in times of change. In this course I've been studying how important the communication inside an organisation is. HR-communication, business communication, you name it. This is the course that interested me the most so far.

Marketing
The toughest cookie in the jar. When a product is introduced, people need to be attracted to it. What do companies do in order to achieve that? They advertise. Advertising is ubiquitous. It is everywhere. So, marketers have to be very sharp. And how do they do that? They put their customers first. Marketers look at their customers and think "Welll, how are we going to make sure that people are satisfied with the value we produce?". Because, if customers are satisfied, a relationship is built. What marketing does? They acquire and maintain good relationships with their customers so that they stay; so that they will keep coming back to the brand to buy products or services. This was, as I said, a tough cookie. The book we had to read was amazingly big and therefore I didn't study as much for marketing as I did for the other courses. But, I got a better grade for marketing than for e.g. Intercultural Communication. Now, isn't that nice?

English Skills I and II
In other words; English grammar, vocab and speaking skills and writing. In the Language Proficiency course, we had to recall our grammar skills and learn a lot of new 'business' vocabulary. My grammar is never been that great, most of the time I just guess, because somehow I am able to 'hear' what is has to sound like. This doesn't work for every single part of the English grammar, of course. But, this was not that hard for me. The vocab wasn't either, because my brain likes languages better than any other course. Learning words and their definitions was not that hard and I even enjoyed it! It feels like my English is improving and this, of course, is important for my blogging skills. I never use, as I already mentioned earlier, Google translate anymore. And I am proud of that, secretly. The other part of English Skills was writing. By the way, I'll still be having these courses in the second term. For writing we had to write an argumentative essay about a topic we had to choose ourselves. The topic had to have something to do with communication, so I picked marketing. Why? Don't ask me. Just don't go there. The topic I wrote about was The Lifestyle Branding Marketing Strategy. Of course I wasn't an expert, and I had to do a lot of research on the topic. I made it difficult for myself. Eventually, I learned a lot from it and I liked it a lot. I'm not an expert now, but if you want to know anything about it; ask me! I like to talk about those things.

So, I think you all got a good insight in what I've been doing lately? In this term we'll be having the following courses..
.. Corporate Communication
.. Branding
.. Research Skills
.. Managing Internal Group Processes
.. Personal Leadership
.. English Skills I and II (part 2)

I have no idea what I'll be doing the rest of my life. What I do know, is what I don't want to be doing. I think my heart goes out to Corporate Communication, Internal Communication or Branding? I don't know, everything is closely related. I do have to remember that I don't have to pick a side already. Whatever it wil be; everything communication related is the right choice for me.

Be on the lookout for updates if you're interested!
Love,
Stells.

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