Program: Communication & Business
With his graduation fast approaching, Simon Fraser University undergraduate student Mack Stannard has set himself a target to one day run his own media agency – and Mack believes that the education he has received from his Communications Major and Business Minor has given him the platform to achieve his ambitious goal.
Mack transferred to SFU after his first year as an undergraduate, initially as a Communications major, before deciding to add a minor in Business to his degree. According to Mack, the combination of the two disciplines has offered him a unique perspective.
“Having both Business and Communications knowledge helps with job opportunities, but also helps me think differently,” says Mack. “Communications offers a different framework of thinking. I can then take that analytical mindset into my business education, where I apply it to real world situations and see things from a firm’s perspective.”
Mack has undertaken two Co-op placements, most recently working as a Communications Assistant at SFU’s Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology (FCAT). Among his many duties in the role, Mack was responsible for the faculty’s social media channels and organized the annual FCAT conference for students from across Canada.
Prior to that, Mack’s first experience in an office environment saw him work in the B.C. Lions Football Club’s Community Relations department – a highly sought-after position that Mack believes he was able to secure thanks to his joint degree.
“The Communications Major and Business Minor definitely appeals to employers – they value the critical thinking skills that a communications degree offers, but also appreciate that a student has background knowledge of how a business operates,” he says. “Working in community relations required me to bridge the gap between the Lions team and the community, so there was a lot of marketing, promotion and planning of logistics. It was an amazing experience.”
Mack’s degree also saw him travel further afield, when he studied in England for one semester on exchange. According to Mack, the benefits of exchange extend beyond learning in a new culture, with the connections he was able to forge expanding his professional network to a global stage.
Now in his final semester, Mack hopes one day to run his own internet-based media company. Although he recognizes the perils of trying to make a living in the evolving world of journalism, Mack is confident that his SFU education has given him the platform to succeed.
“My Communications Major and Business Minor have helped me grow personally and prepared me professionally,” he says. “My SFU education has given me a lot of the skills I need in order to succeed, and also taught me where to look for those skills I don’t already have. I feel confident heading out into the world.”