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I’ve shared a bit about myself in my Bio here https://digitalsenior.sg/author/elizabeth/ .
I am in my Junior year at SMU School of Social Science, my first major is in Political Science and my second major is in Corporate Communication.
This is combination is the most popular among my cohort, so imagine my surprise when I learnt from Ricky that such a combination is deemed rather uncommon in Singapore.
Explaining SMU’s system on cross-disciplinary majors
One of the reasons why this might seem uncommon could be that I am unlike other Social Scientists from our other local Us who typically specialize in Political Science, Sociology or Psychology. This is where SMU is slightly different. As a student enrolled into the School of Social Science, this means that my first major must be one of the three main disciplines of Social Science, namely, Political Science, Sociology, or Psychology. However, I can also opt to take a second major in any of the 6 schools in SMU, such is Business, Law, Economics, Information Systems, Accountancy and Social Science. I chose to take a Business discipline, Corporate Communication as my second major so that I get cross-faculty academic experience, I will have a bit of “Business” knowledge and “Social Science” knowledge when I graduate.
Value of cross-disciplinary majors
Now that I’ve established the possibility of such cross-faculty degree, how can it add value to my career prospects?
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In Political Science, we learn about systems of government, political activity and political behaviour. In an academic context, we learn about the writings and philosophies of prominent thinkers, such as Alex De Tocqueville and John Locke, the so called “founding fathers of democracy”. We also pay a lot of attention to social theorists such as Max Weber and Karl Marx. The writings of these thinkers have influenced the behavior of leaders since the early 1900s, resulting in the manifestation of these values in government systems. In a practical context, we examine the key players of modern day politics: political parties, ideologies, and interest groups. The presiding ideology in a particular society often influences how these key players behave.
In Corporate Communication, we learn to manage internal and external communication between organizations and their stakeholders. Communication is the cornerstone of an organization’s branding (ie, what the organization presents about itself), an organization’s reputation (ie, what stakeholders say about the organization) and stakeholder management. Managing stakeholders cover a range, from “standard communication duties” like drafting marketing collaterals, to crisis management, where only a specific crisis management team will handle all of the organization’s during a crisis.
Mastering the above content makes us Poly Sci- Corp Comm “creatures” very sought after. A common employer of such graduates is the public sector. As we cringe when Ministers dismiss or even guffaw over sensitive issues, being aware and mindful of political sensitivities and being able to communicate them with eloquence and humility is a unique skill that is highly demanded by the various ministries and statutory boards.
In the commercial sector, banks and other MNCs look to Poly Sci – Corp Comm graduates as their expertise in systems of government help them make more informed decisions when it comes to issues in the company’s branches outside their point of origin.
Though what I have described here is the value of a Poly Sci – Corp Comm major, the value behind any unique combination of subjects lie in the person reading that combination; if you’ve got unique interests that go beyond your immediate field of study, do not be afraid to develop it further. While opting for a second major is one way to do this, other ways could be taking extra modules related to this interest, or applying for internships in that particular field.
Choose the best options that help you to learn more about that you are truly passionate it, that will be the most valuable asset of your university education.
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