This has been a surprisingly interesting ride. Over the past four months, JOUR 4470 successfully expanded my ethical horizons. While some of the material was slightly less than exciting, a lot of what we learned struck a chord with me.
I think the majority of college students who make it to a 4000-level course are (hopefully) smart enough to understand basic ethical standards on their own. But this class solidified my existing knowledge about the PRSA Code of Ethics and several of the better-known ethical theories like utilitarianism and communitarianism.
The case studies I did with my group were my favorite assignments. My group was great, and they were a huge part of why I enjoyed this class so much. I liked having the opportunity to apply the material being covered in class on a semi-regular basis instead of just learning about it and then regurgitating it a few weeks later on a test.
Going forward, I’ll feel comfortable with making solid judgments about the ethical quality of companies, coworkers, etc. I’m fortunate to already be working for a company I believe to have strong sense of ethics. With the telemarketing job I had a few years ago, the bar was set pretty low. Now the exact opposite is true. And thanks to this class, the bar will remain high for the rest of my life.
I had a genuine “oh, wow” moment the day we analyzed the Summer’s Eve advertising campaign. My thought process wasn’t exactly, “oh wow, my worldview has been forever changed.” It was more along the lines of “oh wow, I can’t believe we’re talking about this in class.” It was definitely a good “oh wow” moment. Our discussions about current events and older, interesting cases kept the class interesting. Before the semester started, I expected a lot of vocabulary and boring examples. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Another thing I’ve learned this semester (not just from this class), is that when it comes to public relations writing, brevity is a virtue and unnecessary fluff is a sin. Clear, concise statements are the most effective way to communicate ideas. That’s why this blog is a little shorter than my previous ones. I don’t want my last ethics entry to seem forced and bloated. Honesty is the cornerstone of ethical behavior, and I’d like to go out on an honest note.
Farewell, 4470. It was fun.