All About STCO’s Courtney Johnston

  • Major: Strategic Communication
  • Class: Junior
  • Hometown: Newport Beach, California

What are three words you would use to describe your experience so far as a strategic communication major?
Diverse. Rewarding. Hands-on.

What strengths have you noticed the Strategic Communication department brings out in you?
One strength the Strategic Communication department has brought out in me is my creativity. In the past, I had thought of myself as a dull person with more interest in the academic side of schooling. After taking my Strategic Writing and Design classes, I realized that I enjoy the creative side of both public relations and advertising. I owe my success as a student to my professors because they opened my eyes to how strong my creative thinking can be. I feel all the professors in the Bob Schieffer College of Communication want their students to succeed and will push them to the best of their ability. Specifically for me, I never gave my creativity a chance. I always assumed I would fail until my professors saw my potential and pushed me. I can honestly now say I am more of a creative thinker and see a whole future in strategic communication. Being creative has shaped my mind to think differently than I would have before.

What opportunities has the Strategic Communication department offered you to prepare you for the real world?
I am obviously a huge advocate for all of my professors and the real-life experiences and stories they offer are beneficial. Many of my professors have had successful careers before working at Texas Christian University. When they share their stories and work experience, I gain knowledge far different than reading a textbook. Their stories help me tremendously by providing useful and helpful connections. I also am a part of Roxo, a student-run advertising and public relations agency, which allows me to work with real clients in the Fort Worth area. Roxo gives me the opportunity to use what I am learning in my classes and apply that directly to real-life problems and solutions.

What has been your most rewarding experience as a strategic communication major?
The connections I have made are more rewarding than any one class I have taken. I cherish the relationships I have built with my classmates and professors and I am thankful for how much they have taught me. I really feel the whole strategic communication community is a big family, which is probably the most rewarding part for me. They truly care about my success and want what is best for me.

If you could offer your first-year self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to fail. If you have not failed then you have not gone far enough. All I cared about my first year was getting the “A,” but I wasn’t actually learning or gaining anything by only paying attention to good grades. I wasn’t going out of my comfort zone or pushing myself to take risks. After changing my attitude, I realized I had more to gain by not only learning and understanding the concepts but also going farther and applying them to my schoolwork and life. Taking risks has helped me grow not only in my life as a student but also as a young adult.