Alumni Spotlight: Steven Netcott

“I hoped to use my new-found knowledge in an IT environment and it has paid off so far.”
“I hoped to use my new-found knowledge in an IT environment and it has paid off so far.”

Steven Netcott (’14 Communication Studies) originally enrolled in the Management Information Systems (MIS) program at Iowa State University with a goal of working in an information technology (IT) environment. After taking several classes Netcott felt MIS was not quite the right fit. While researching other options he discovered the Communication Studies (ComSt) program and declared a new major. That decision has paid off.

“I felt the ComSt program would give me the skills I needed to gain an edge in my chosen field, ”said Netcott. “So often, you find an IT worker that is able to solve your IT issue, but doesn't understand a useful way to communicate the solution to you.”

Netcott said he was surprised by the atmosphere when entering this program. “The professors were immediately engaging and interesting and the students were friendly and helpful,” said Netcott. “I am not saying that didn't happen in my other program of study, but it was definitely more apparent in the ComSt program.”

Advice for current students

Netcott advises current ComSt students to use this program to further understand their interests. “One of the coolest things about the program is the wide variety of classes you can take; from nonverbal communication all the way to intercultural. Honing the program to your needs is one of the best things you can do early on,” said Netcott,

Playing Favorites

Netcott enjoyed working with all of the faculty in the ComSt program but said Dr. Dawn Sweet was one of the most beneficial professors he get to know. “Her classes were challenging. She comes off strong at the beginning, but there is reason for that. Once you show initiative and allow yourself to be challenged, she is more than willing to help you learn as much as you want to about her specialty; nonverbal communication, said Netcott.” He said that Sweet also has a way of helping you build character while taking her classes. I will always remember the phrase "work smarter, not harder," said Netcott.

Skills for Life

Now a Systems Support Specialist for Iowa State University Extension Information Technology, Netcott said he’s discovered that the value of this degree goes beyond the workplace. “I have used the skills learned from ComSt classes in my every day life. I have an ability to step back and really study interactions taking place and understand the reasoning behind the interaction.

Pull quote as a graphic element “Ultimately, I hoped to be able to use my new found knowledge in an IT environment, and it has paid off so far.” Steven Netcott (’14 ComSt)