BY ALEXIS GRAMATES
As midterms come closer, students may find themselves questioning if this is all worth it, why they are spending so much time in the library and if it will ever get easier. The best advice is from those who have gone through this same process and succeeded: PROFESSORS!
Dr. Bryan Horikami was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, and then went on to graduate from University of Hawaii at Manoa with his BA in Communication.
Wanting to continue his education, he went east to Pennsylvania State University where he received his MA and Ph.D. in Speech Communication.
Since 1996, he has been a part of Salisbury University’s Communication Department and is now the department’s chair and associate professor. He also teaches Human Communication Studies tracks such as Interpersonal Communication and Intercultural Communication.
When he is not teaching, you can find him enjoying a decadent meal at a local restaurant or advising the Asian and Pacific Islander club.
Here is his advice for students:
What was your dream job growing up and while in college?
“I wanted to be a circus clown when I was seven years old. I wanted to make people happy. I researched about the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College in Florida and had hopes of attending. I also read that clowns have copyrighted faces. I decided I wanted to be a ‘Hobo Clown.’
In college, I wanted to be a prosecuting attorney. In my senior year, I had an opportunity to teach a freshman seminar public speaking class. After that experience, I decided to go to graduate school instead of law school so I could become a university professor.”
What advice do you have for those who are struggling in making a career decision?
“I would take an honest assessment of things I am competent in and I like to do. I also suggest that you set your goals to realistic standards and decide your career based on your own accord, not by the expectations of others.”
What is the worst advice you ever received?
“Some of my classmates told me to take easy classes and get high grades. I ignored that advice. If I had the choice between a ‘difficult’ professor and an ‘easy’ professor, I always chose the ‘difficult’ one. That meant, to me, that the grade I earned was based on a higher standard.”
What advice can you give students during college?
“The university is a place to explore your identity, take calculated risks in doing things that you might not have considered before and to meet people who are vastly different from you. I recommend students to learn a foreign language, study abroad, take classes related to cultures and take the time to seek out people with whom you might not typically engage.”
What advice can you give students after graduation?
“Do not expect your first job to be your only job. Do not feel that you are above any type of job-related tasks. Make time to find some activity to do public service, volunteering, and charity work.
If you are unhappy with what you are doing, continue to educate yourself for a different career path. There is no such thing as ‘job security’ outside of your own talents, knowledge and dedication.”