A survey by The National Association of Colleges and Employers (ACE) found that communication is one of the ten most important skills employers desire in college graduates . This should not come as a surprise because communication skills are not only important in securing a job but also play a major role in an individual’s ability to do his job well as well as take advantage of advancement opportunities within an organization . Thus, it is not surprising I am, particularly, focused on developing my communication skills. I am confident my communication skills will be one of the key assets for me in the real world and I am fortunate to have gone through experiences that allowed me to both develop and witness the importance of communication skills.
One example that comes to mind was a team project in a marketing course. The five members in my team came from three different cultural backgrounds including the U.S., China, and France. While every team member seemed committed to the project, communication problems did negatively affect the progress of the project in the beginning. My American team members felt that the international students were not enthusiastic about contributing ideas during the brainstorming sessions but I realized their lack of contribution was more due to their cultural upbringing rather than their lack of enthusiasm. As a result, I would explicitly ask them questions to encourage them to speak. This helped them gain confidence and become more active during brainstorming sessions. This experience helped me confirm my strong cross-cultural communication skills. My cross-cultural communication skills will be valuable to my employers because companies are increasingly employing diverse workforce as well as serving diverse group of customers.
I am also grateful for a media summer internship in which I was part of an animation crew. Even though the internship was challenging because we often operated on a tight schedule and with limited budget, I learnt a lot through interaction with both internal and external stakeholders who often had different communication styles. First of all, I did content research for which I also conducted informal interviews on the street. As a member of the production crew, I dealt with voice actors, director, and production assistants. The quality of final product often depends upon the teamwork displayed by crew members and the final product was a success because each member of the crew including me could adapt to any communication style. In addition to verbal communication, my job also required me to engage in written communication such as emails and memos. I paid close attention to the language and communication styles of my superiors which helped me realize the importance of concise sentences and formal tone, even in written communication.
My strong communication skills will be quite helpful during my career. First of all, I will be a strong performer as a team member and would often be chosen to lead teams because I can understand and adapt to different communication styles. I will also be given opportunities to extensively interact with external stakeholders. In addition, I will also have an edge when it comes to international assignments or career opportunities in other countries. My communication skills will also help me reach leadership positions because good leaders are often known to be effective communicators who can describe their vision and goals in a manner that everyone can understand it well.
I am not only confident about my career prospects in the U.S. but also abroad, due to my strong communication skills and cross-cultural knowledge. I understand communication doesn’t only involve verbal communication but also non-verbal communication such as body language and face expressions. In addition, I also know the rules for effective written communication skills which is important because the amount of written communication has significantly increased, thanks to advancements in information technologies.
- ADAMS, Susan. 2014. The 10 Skills Employers Most Want In 2015 Graduates. [online]. [Accessed 13 October 2015]. Available from World Wide Web:
- TAYLOR, Shirley. Why are Communication Skills Important? [online]. [Accessed 13 October 2015]. Available from World Wide Web: