On April 7, “Tough Talks” gave students the opportunity to consider their ethics and the ways in which positive habits will affect their future careers.

The event, hosted by SCAD Professor Jeffrey DeVincent and joined by Liberal Arts professors Beth Concepcion, Dr. Mary Lou Davis and Dr. John Valentine, was designed to address topics that are commonly neglected by students. Together, the four professors explored ethics in the arts, workplace and media.

The panel’s discussion primarily focused on the misconception that there is a line between the academic and so-called “real world.” Due to this misconception, students tend to disregard their actions and attitudes in the academic environment, believing that they will not affect their life in the “real world.”

However, ethics do matter. Dr. Davis warned students, saying, “You are in the real world right now; you are becoming the person that you are going to be for the rest of your life.” She advised students to be aware of themselves and their actions. She went on to say, “Every experience you have will feed into who you are going to be.”

Concepcion also encouraged students to “start good habits now.” She said,  “Come to class early, have your work prepared,” reiterating the fact that student’s current habits and ethics will continue on after college.

The panel referred to positive habits such as critical thinking, presentation skills, meaningful research, curiosity and working well in group projects.

When discussing group projects, Concepcion noted “Everything we do in the real world is collaborative. You never do it in a vacuum.” Nonetheless, people not pulling their weight in group projects is still common. “Welcome to the real world,” Concepcion said. “Excuses don’t fly. You have to find a way to make it happen.”

Dr. John Valentine and Davis highlighted the importance of being patient with research. In order to produce effective research, they noted that students must properly evaluate their sources.

“The problem with today, or maybe it’s an opportunity depending on the way you look at it, is that we have a tsunami of information. It is just an unbelievable tidal wave,” Valentine said. He suggests not rushing research and finding a way to dedicate time to it, especially in our fast-paced world.

By focusing on making these important skills habitual, students will become well prepared for a job in their industry. By branding yourself as someone who is enthusiastic and loves to learn, the panel expressed that you will go far.

What “Tough Talks” ultimately set straight was that the stress, drama and difficulties of today are not going anywhere. However, the actions and attitudes that we have now will also come to affect our future careers.

The panel urged students to learn as much as possible while at SCAD. College is the real world for everyone; being a student is a career.

“Tough Talks” is set to become a quarterly series and the next event will take place during the Fall Quarter.