The Department of Communication will hold the Communications Senior Showcase and Internship Fair on Thursday, June 23, from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm in the BYU-Idaho Center.
There is no charge to attend the event, which will be held in Lobby two of the I-Center, where all students are invited to show support and learn from their classmates’ senior projects.
“The Communication Senior Project, COMM 499, is a course all students in the BYU-Idaho Department of Communication take prior to graduation,” according to the Senior Project Web page.
Mike Cannon, the Communication Department Chair, said the project is an individual experience that each student in the department of communication is required to complete.
“I compare it to a round of golf or running a marathon,” Cannon said. “It is an individual experience but each student has a coach, if you will, or a caddy; somebody there to provide instruction, and tips, and guidance and support.”
Cannon said students choose their own project topics, but are encouraged to select a subject that they can be passionate about and is applicable to their emphasis and major.
“The senior project is important and valuable because it lets the student pursue his or her individual interest,” Cannon said. “It’s really each person performing whatever he or she finds most important and interesting to them.”
Students can complete the project anytime during the semester that they are enrolled in the course, but they first need to receive approval from a faculty mentor, according to the Department of Communication website.
Lee Warnick, a faculty mentor and communication instructor said faculty mentors often require the student to stretch their limits in this project.
“When the project actually starts, you will need to go to your mentor to get formal approval of your project and to get it signed off,” Warnick said. “You are supposed to meet with your mentor at least three times over the course of the semester to get it going, to get a midterm correction, and then to help prepare you for the showcase.”
Warnick said students are encouraged to formulate projects that can showcase their skills to potential employers.
“The idea is for your senior project to be worth a line on your resume,” Warnick said. “Hopefully your mentor knows you well enough to know how you like to work and what your skills are with the experience that you’ve had.”
A minimum of 50 hours is required for completion, and the project should display communication skills that the student gained while attending BYU-Idaho, according to the Department of Communication website.
Cannon said many communication students and experts work in groups, but the senior showcase project gives students an opportunity to showcase their individual skills.
“The senior project provides the opportunity to do an individual experience,” Cannon said. “The student selects, develops, and works with a mentor to have support, teaching and instruction along the way, and then presents it in a professional tradeshow-type of experience that we call the Senior Showcase.”
Off-track students that need to complete the project may do so remotely with permission from the COMM 499 instructor. These situations still require the students to meet with their mentors but they can do so through digital communicating, according to the Senior Projects Web page.
Robyn Bergstrom, Dean of communication, said the COMM instructors and faculty want to see their students succeed.
“We are encouraging you, we’re helping you, and we are here to cheer you on,” Bergstom said. “We’ll see you at the senior showcase.”