Leah Menaul

Leah Menaul
PCA (Rhetoric/Communications)
Medfield, MA

     Before starting my career at St. Lawrence University, I believed I wanted to major in Economics and end up with a job in finance. However, after completing an economics course my freshman year I quickly decided that economics was not for me. I then began the struggle of what do I want to do with my life. I took many different classes trying to discover what my passion is. I found that I really enjoy education and psychology and decided that I then wanted to be a teacher. While my family was happy I found something I really enjoyed, they also knew that the business world and working with people is where I really belong. My mother suggested that I take the Introduction to Communication studies course. Just a couple weeks into the course, I knew I loved it. It suddenly became very clear to me that Performance Communication Arts is the major for me, because it involves a part of psychology in studying the way people communicate and gives me the opportunity to enter the business world.
     I would like my focus in the PCA department to be in Rhetoric and Communication studies. I am most interested in this, because I enjoy studying the different ways that people deliver and receive messages. I find it interesting how many different factors go into the way a message is received. Recently, in my public speaking class this interest has been sparked in studying the constraints that are present when a speech is given that causes the message to not be heard. In my Environmental Communication class, we have studied the different types of rhetoric used when presenting an issue or message. It has been intriguing to look at how an author’s use of rhetoric can affect the take away of the reader. For example, we have specifically looked at apocalyptic rhetoric and how it can make the audience feel like there is nothing they can do about the problem, or make them feel like they need to act right away. Just the words used in presenting a problem can have an affect on the outcome. I have yet to take any courses in the Performance/Theatre section of being a PCA major, but I am looking forward to those as well. I am hoping to study abroad in London during the fall of 2015 and I am very interested in taking the theatre course offered in London, because it will hopefully bring out more interests in communication for me.
     In my future, there are many jobs I would be interested in because of being a PCA major. After completing my bachelor’s degree, I will have gained many useful skills in the PCA program. First, I will be proficient in writing and verbal communication skills, which will be helpful in interviews and applying for jobs. Also, I will be able to effectively create persuasive messages and use language to influence others. This will be helpful in the work force, because many jobs will require convincing others of proposals and plans.
     Being a PCA major will be extremely useful in the job field I would like to enter once I graduate from St. Lawrence. Because of the PCA classes I have already taken, I have become interested in media studies through communication. I would really enjoy a job working with a social networking company or a job to do with public relations. I would be interested in helping companies chose the correct words and images in order to get their message across and be successfully heard by their target audience. Majoring in Performance and Communication Arts will help in acquiring a job I would enjoy and provide valuable learning experience during my time at St. Lawrence.