Why did you decide to pursue the Strategic Communication program?
I had decided to pursue a master’s degree because I wanted to do adjunct teaching at the university level. I’d been looking for a program that matched my career interests and expertise. I’d looked at several MBA programs, but as soon as I learned about this program, I knew it was the right one for me. As a media communication strategist and marketer, the Strategic Communication program exactly fit my needs.
What are you doing now?
I achieved my goal of teaching as an adjunct instructor at a local university. I am still in my long-term career at KGW as the Director of Marketing. I have my own venture, Right Now Communications, which offers speaking and training, and I launched an additional companion blog, RightNowLiving.com, as a new product.
How did this program prepare you for this career?
The program led to my adjunct teaching both because I had the required master’s degree and due to contacts I made through the program. I experienced other important outcomes in addition to meeting my primary goal for the program. The Strategic Communication program gave me an added level of sophistication in strategy and process for my primary job as a marketing director. The build-out and launch of my blog project was strongly influenced by the development and communication projects in the program.
What did you learn during the program that influenced your career goals and/or path?
I learned that I enjoy the academic world even more than I expected. I was thrilled to be able to begin adjunct teaching as a result of having a master’s degree.
In my primary work, most of what I’ve learned in my career previously had been learned on the job and through my own inquiry. This program provided more structure and sophistication in how I formulate brand and communication plans. My new personal venture came to fruition by applying the proven processes in the program to a content idea.
Tell us about your favorite project from your time in the program.
Instead of a final project, I did a thesis on the social media of the Obama and Romney campaigns in the 2012 election. As a communication strategist I’ve been fascinated by how new media platforms can be leveraged and used as rhetorical tools. Since little research had previously been done on how candidates use social media, it became a fascinating project.
I also enjoyed the research class and the projects that required building a communication plan for a real client.
What advice do you have for students considering this program?
The Strategic Communication program is focused on real-world skills. The projects are exactly what professional marketers, PR people and communication directors use every day. You can use these projects as part of your resume. Network with your professors and the speakers who come to your classes. As a very practical matter, pace yourself. Keep up with the reading and start your projects early so you don’t get behind. It’s a lot of work, but if you stick to a work plan, you’ll be able to manage it. Take each 10-week term at a time. The two years will go by before you know it, and then you’ll have a master’s degree.
Do you have links of work you’d like to share?
My blog best reflects work that is primarily my own. www.rightnowliving.com