Wayne State Communications Studies Suit Sean Badeer
Sean Badeer is a senior at Wayne State College majoring in mass communications with an emphasis in organizational leadership and public relations. But if you see Sean on campus, you wouldn’t guess he was a student—more like a faculty member instead.
“Sean is one of those intrinsically motivated people,” Communication Arts Instructor Rich Murphy said. “He’s of the same mind set as the faculty. I don’t feel like I have to coach him like other students; we work together. He really wants to learn.”
Sean also has his own office in Pile Hall as the Community Coordinator for Residence Life, and the fact that Sean has more than a little experience wearing a three-piece suit sets him apart as well.
Last summer, Sean finished a paid internship at HDR, Inc., a global architecture and engineering design firm in Omaha. While there, he worked on public relations and on a corporate communications project. He also developed qualitative research tools to assist with his social media analysis project, while learning about the constant adaptations that have to take place at a large company.
All in his fancy suit.
“My first day on the job, I had an office on the executive floor,” Sean said. “It was kind of an intimidating experience, but also sort of a running joke. It definitely opened my eyes to the professional environment. It was very beneficial to get exposed to that early on. It also opened my eyes to how many places have public relations and corporate communications.”
Sean has developed advanced skills in speech and debate, most of which he got exposed to in high school. However, his original plan was to study construction.
“After starting that program,” Sean said, “I decided I wanted to switch to keep my options open.”
Switching turned out to be a good move.
“I’ve had numerous offers to present at undergraduate and graduate conferences, including at Hastings, Milwaukee, Wayne and Cleveland,” Sean said. “I also had the opportunity to do intercollegiate speech and look at grad schools in Omaha, and get involved with PR and other professional organizations.”
Despite his in-depth experience and talent in his field, Sean is always able to relate back to being a college student.
“Sean is able to do so much, but he still relates to his classmates,” Murphy said. “He does everything to make faculty happy, but doesn’t put down other students. People look up to him.”
Outside of his communication and public relations studies, Sean has been involved with Campus Crusade for Christ for four years and has served on servant and worship teams. He was also a Navigator, played rugby and has been very involved in Residence Life, serving as a past RA, SRA and current CC.
“Residence Life has been an area of both personal and professional growth for me,” Sean said. “It’s taught me leadership.”
Sean is also a member of the Lambda Pi Eta Communications Honor Society and Philomathean President’s Honorary Society. He enjoys intramurals, particularly ping pong, pitch and foosball, mountain biking, and music and playing and singing in his band “Vincible.” However, as of May 25, Sean has a new commitment—a marriage to his wife, Averi.
“It’s been great. We live in the dorms. We’ve spent most of our relationship apart, so it’s nice to have her here,” Sean said. “It’s been an adjustment as far as time management is concerned, but we don’t have to spend our time traveling.”
Sean is currently working on his honors project, researching people’s reactions to social movements, like Kony 2012, and he directly attributes his successes and growth to the professors of the communication department.
“When I first came here, I didn’t know what to expect, but I was blown away by the variety and professors,” Sean said. “I feel that the personal touch in this program is what makes it invaluable.
Professors continue to work with you to find your specific area of research and make sure you’re going in the right direction.”
Murphy said the easiest way to delve into communications is to approach professors with your interest in participating, researching and helping with campaigns.
“The selling point for communications is that it works with all other departments,” Murphy said. “Communication courses help you think more broadly about image and leadership. They help you specialize in other areas. We also need skills from other majors, too.”
According to Murphy, the area of public relations, in particular, is still growing, still hiring and still competitive. On the other hand, areas of human resources, leadership or management, economic development or even speech education are all available with a communications degree.
“Communication gives you a theory to keep as everything else changes. Communication courses are the ground work,” Murphy said. “You have to find the direction, and we’ll help you get there.”
As for Sean, his next step is to attend graduate school while working full time. He also hopes to take some trips for mission work.
All in his fancy suit.