• Caroline Harris

The Best Classes at UNC

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of the best schools in the country. Throughout my time here, I have gotten the chance to take some intriguing classes with top-rated professors. UNC has so much to offer across every area of interest, but my favorite classes come from the Hussman School of Journalism and Media, Kenan-Flagler Business School, and the Shuford Program of Entrepreneurship.

MEJO 121 Digital Storytelling

Digital Storytelling is one of the introductory courses in the School of Journalism and Media, and it is definitely as good as you make it. The class is split into two sections: video and website/infographic creation. There are many different teachers of this section, and many of them are hit or miss. I had the pleasure of taking the video portion of the class with John Wilson, a documentary filmmaker and UNC alum, who graciously taught us the tedious nature of video editing and storytelling. When I tell you that I spent hours upon hours of this class, I am not lying. Though video editing is all-consuming, the end product can be so beautiful after however many iterations it takes. You can view my video here. This class was also the origin of my personal website, which I have honed and recreated over the years to get it to where it is today.

MEJO 477 New Media Technologies and Their Impact on the Future of Advertising and PR (NMTIFAMP)

This class name is a mouth full, but it really explains the extent of the class! Gary Kayye is one of the top professors at UNC, and I have taken three of his classes during my time at UNC. NMTIFAMP is not just a class that teaches principles and far off ideas. This class gives you real world experience building a digital campaign for a real client. This was especially an interesting class, as I gained experience in planning a real life event completely virtually. I was on the strategy team of our campaign, Reconnect Carolina, where I realized how much I love big picture thinking and creative planning. There are two sections of the class who compete to get the highest level of engagement, so there is a feasible goal to reach throughout the semester. I love that I have real world experience to put on my resume, not just hypothetical projects.

MEJO 591/2 FashionMash: Experiential Design and Product Design

FashionMash classes were on my list of classes I wanted to take before I even came to UNC. I had heard so much about this class and its professor, Dana McMahan, from older girls I knew in high school and friends I met at UNC. My experience in these classes has been a little different, since they have been completely virtual the past two semesters, but they have definitely lived up to the hype. Dana is a creative, caring professor, who offers her classes some of the unique connections she has made over the years with amazing clients. I have gotten the chance to work with the Head of Global Marketing at Chanel in Paris both semesters, first creating sensory films for Chanel No. 5, and then innovative makeup products for Chanel’s beauty line, both manifesting in an amazing installation that will be available to see in person and virtually in the next couple of months.

ECON 393 Entrepreneurship Capstone Course

The Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship has been one of the best experiences in my college experience. The curriculum is composed of classes that build on one another, each teaching what it means to be a self-starter, inventor, and visionary. The classes are full of case studies and hands-on activities and group work in prototyping, taking products to market, and learning customer empathy. The classes lead to a capstone course, ECON 393, with the head of the program, Bernard Bell. In this course, you learn the basics of entering the working world, branding yourself, and you get to hear from amazing and accomplished guest speakers. Skills in this course range from how to give a sellable elevator pitch to how to shake a hand.

BUSI 524 Business Improv

Business Improv is a class I had heard was the easiest in the business school, but the more I talked to people who had taken it, the more I came to find that it was one of the most applicable classes once you graduate as well. The technical and required courses at the business school do a great job of preparing you intellectually and mentally for working in business upon graduation. However, some of the more practical skills, like how to alter your communication approach to your audience and how to talk on the spot without sounding like you’re scrambling, aren’t usually talked about. Business Improvisation uses acting techniques and exercises to draw similarities with the business world, teaching students to break down the walls of insecurities and norms and feel more comfortable speaking on the fly.

BUSI 503/512 Family Business

My freshman year at UNC, I got involved with the Family Enterprise Center. I went to monthly meetings with guest speakers and also had the chance to go to Women in Family Business Dinners. I learned valuable life skills from these meetings, but it wasn’t until I took the Family Business course at Kenan-Flagler that I gained an in-depth understanding of the inner workings of my family business. You do not have to have a family business to take this course, but the entire class is a workshop on understanding a family business, from incredible guest speakers to a research paper that pushes you to get down to the specifics. I was prompted to ask questions about my family business that I had never considered before, and I came out of the class with a better understanding of family dynamics, generational innovation, and specific business structure.

These are just a handful of my favorite classes at UNC. Together, they show the diversity of topics I have had the joy of exploring during my college experience.

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