Career Corner

Senior Ryan Turnage details experience at Stockton University

Written for The Argo by Rose Shaw

Ryan Turnage, a senior majoring in Communication Studies, looks back at his experience at Stockton University and offers advice to lowerclassmen. 

“I graduated from high school a little less than 10 years ago, and when I resumed my education, it felt like a no-brainer to attend Stockton,” said Turnage. 

When he first began his secondary education, he attended William Paterson University. However, he had a girlfriend who attended Stockton College. 

“Whenever I visited, I always loved the scenery and the woods, the students were cool, and I enjoyed the drive,” he explained. 

He has a gap in his education history as he spent several years working before deciding to come back to school. 

Turnage explained that he chose to go back to school after learning how to self-motivate, “A lot of the reason I [went back] in my late 20s is because when I was 18 up until about 26, I didn’t enjoy going to school. However, after working jobs that didn’t feel fulfilling and were sort of a dead-end, I didn’t want to do that as a career… [but] I didn’t care about succeeding,” he stated,  “However, since going back, I sort of realized that I hate failure more than I love success.” 

His struggle with understanding the importance of intrinsic motivation helped to make him a better student and taught him how to best reach his goal of joining the workforce in a communication-related field.   

Turnage explained why his involvement in his high school’s television production program influenced him to choose Communication Studies as his major, “that was the first experience I had with writing, directing and editing.” 

He has some experience in other aspects of the communication field, starting with video games that introduced him to graphic design, voice acting, and narrative storytelling. 

“It felt natural to learn more about the things I’m passionate about,” Turnage exclaimed, “Communication Studies is a great major, you learn a lot about theories, history, and get hands-on experience with equipment like mixers, cameras, microphones, writing, directing, producing, and developing a persona if you perform on the radio or on screen.” 

Turnage restarted his education in the communication field because of his interest in entertainment and connecting with others through writing and storytelling and his passion for studio production. 

 “I used to be a member of the esports club,” he said, “but I never dived into it too deep.” 

Turnage is involved with several communication-based clubs and organizations on campus including the radio station, WLFR 91.7 FM, and the pre-professional organization Public Relations Student Society of America. 

While he is very involved in club activities, he does have some regrets about not taking advantage of all of the opportunities available to him as a Stockton University student, “I regret not doing more internships. I undervalued them and didn’t pursue them when I should have” he said. 

Turnage also acknowledged that while he missed out on some potential internship opportunities, he learned many helpful skills from his classes. 

“I really enjoyed Professor Lisa Youngblood’s persuasive writing course. I credit that course with making me a stronger writer,” he said,  “She made the class enjoyable and helped me learn a lot about writing structure.” 

Throughout his education at Stockton University, Turnage also learned a variety of life skills that he hopes to carry with him into the workforce. 

When reflecting on what he learned, and what he wishes other students knew, he offers this advice: “Get to know your professors and develop relationships with them. Not only are they a great resource for their experience and wisdom, but a lot of them will also push the best out of you to prepare you for life after college. Also, try to get involved with student groups that are centered around your interests and major. You’ll network with other students in those clubs and that will help you down the road.”  

Anyone interested in learning about the Communication Studies program at Stockton University can visit the Communication Studies webpage for more information.