Students meet reality

Jenny Rohl/The News Sophomore Sawyer Rambo visits the Regional Outreach table at the Real World Market.
Jenny Rohl/The News Sophomore Sawyer Rambo visits the Regional Outreach table at the Real World Market.

Jenny Rohl/The News
Sophomore Sawyer Rambo visits the Regional Outreach table at the Real World Market.

The Real World Market brought learning to life Tuesday with hands-on activities representing all colleges at the University.

With an emphasis on experiential learning as defined by Murray State’s 10-year Quality Enhancement Plan, the public relations students of JMC 444 planned the event for all faculty, staff and students to have a greater understanding of what experiential learning is. This is the second time JMC 444 students have implemented the event.

Brennan Handley, junior from Springfield, Ill., attended the event.

“I think students just don’t know about experiential learning on campus,” said Handley.

The Real World Market provided an array of examples of experiential learning in action. From service learning and study abroad to theater and engineering departments, many academic opportunities were highlighted. At the event a newscast was filmed by journalism students, a jazz band played and 3-D printing was demonstrated.

Not only were faculty talking to students, students were talking to students about the valuable experiences they had through experiential learning.

“Each major has experiential learning, and this fair highlights them,” said Kiaya Young, senior from Paducah, Ky. “It is a way to see how Murray State is benefiting us.”

Experiential learning can improve student performance and satisfaction with their education.  Doing an activity paired with the enjoyment of the experience “significantly improves student motivation and learning,” according to a study by the Swansea University Business School.

The Real World Market provided an opportunity for students to discover careers they may be interested in while displaying interactive ways students would be involved in and out the classroom.

Cannon Ferguson, sophomore from Columbus, Ky., said he believes the event could help you decide the career path to take because it had a “bit of everything.” The event was beneficial for getting a glimpse at what the University has to offer, he said.

Experiential learning encourages the development of the holistic scholar that is engaged in the local community as well as the world.

The Real World Market promoted this aspect through the study abroad information booth, as well as through the modern languages department.

“I am very interested in studying abroad and there was a lot of information with details on trips for every major,” said Hallie Beard, sophomore from Louisville, Ky.

First attracted to the event because of her curiosity, Beard said she left happy to see all of the academic colleges represented, and left with valuable information about her future goal of studying abroad.

The event planning itself provided an avenue for experiential learning for public relations students as they implemented the event as they would if they were public relations professionals.

Olivia Perkins, junior from Harrodsburg, Ky., who was part of the planning said to expect the unexpected. There were always last minute adjustments to be made, as many booths signed up last minute.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the turn-out,” Perkins said.

With a little more than an hour left of the event, approximately 100 people had attended in the Curris Center ballroom.

Lauren Ruser, senior from Belleville, Ill., served as the account executive for  the event.

“It’s always fun having an event you put work into pay off,” Ruser said.

Story by Abby Siegel, Contributing writer