Over the last 10 years, New York City has become a staple for the Department of Communication students. Every winter break, the department takes a trip to NYC to see the city and learn about the world of communication and the jobs that may be offered to students after graduation, but the trip looks a lot different than it did the very first year.
The trip began 10 years ago by Jack Shock, distinguished professor of communication. Shock created the trip because of his own experience going to New York City in high school. Shock said his high school teachers took a group of students to New York City so they could experience the magic of the city. The trip made a lasting impression on Shock and inspired him to create a similar experience for communications students at Harding.
“Somebody did that for me when I was 18,” Shock said. “They just scooped me up and took me to New York and just put me in the middle of Times Square and said, ‘all this can be yours.’ And that’s what I love doing … I love taking people … and being with [them] as [they] see the skyline for the very first time.”
Katie Ramirez, director of student publications and assistant professor, was a student on the very first trip 10 years ago. The trip left the day after finals week in May and lasted around 10 days. Ramirez said the original group acted like an intersession class. Since then, the trip has been moved to the beginning of the spring semester, leaving at the beginning of January.
“New York kind of can feel a little daunting and a little intimidating,” Ramirez said. “It’s big. It’s very professional. But I think my favorite part was just seeing former students — alumni who had been at Harding. They had been in the same classes that I had been in, and then they did something big and scary, and they found out it wasn’t big and scary.”
Emmy Burton, senior public relations major, went on the trip last year. Burton had a similar outlook as Ramirez, saying it was cool to see ordinary people doing extraordinary things. It inspired her to know that in working hard and dedicating time to something, anything is possible.
“Being able to see first-hand how things worked in the NBC studio opened my eyes to see that anyone can do anything, it’s your own limits that stop you,” Burton said.
The New York trip will be happening again this year Jan. 4-12.