It was a dark and stormy night. IMC discussion posts had been written, replies completed early, and thoughts of assignments due on Monday were being put on hold for the evening. Students gathered dressed in their best costumes to celebrate the only day of the year scarier than the capstone project deadline – Halloween.
At this party, you can tell just by the costume what each student is studying. Because just like Halloween garb, a student’s Area of Emphasis is a reflection of their interests and personalities.
Here’s a look around the party:
Creative Strategy: The Creative Strategy students have been spending weeks planning their costumes. After hours of scrolling through Pinterest, they found the perfect DIYs to show off their artistic talents. A quick trip to the craft store, a thrift shop, and a friend’s closet give way to unique ideas that impress the crowd. They’ve used everyday objects to transform themselves into soda bottle scuba divers, duct tape stick figure people, clothespin cactus, and more…
Data Marketing Communications: Data Marketing Communications students have done their research. They know what’s most popular this year and are using that insight to win the costume contest strategically. With “IT” ranking as Google’s most-searched Halloween costume of 2019, a number of these students have appeared to show up in the same costume. Others opted for keeping with the most classic and most popular costume of all time, a witch. What are the witch’s odds of winning the contest? Wait a moment … they’ll take a quick survey, analyze the data, and make an informed prediction.
Digital and Social Media: Digital and Social Media students know what’s trending right now. They’ve been tracking Twitter and Instagram to see what their favorite celebrities are dressing as and what memes and videos are most popular this week. These students are dressing up as throwback pop-culture icons, copying their favorite celebrities, and trying to put together costumes that give off the same energy as their favorite Vine.
Healthcare Communication: Healthcare Communication students see a lot of spooky stuff during their work hours, whether it be in the hospital or dealing with crisis communication for clients. They were burning the midnight oil until about 20 minutes before the party and still hadn’t even thought about a costume. They quickly snag some scrubs and stethoscopes from colleagues and show up to the party just in time … the doctor’s in!
Higher Education Marketing: Higher Education Marketing students are the experts of group costumes. They’re re-wearing the costume they coordinated with their department at work. It toes the line between professional and witty – the best way to connect with their students. They’re rolling up to the party in a carpool, dressed up as the Incredibles and Minions.
PR Leadership: You’ll find the PR Leadership students dressed up as one of the brands they represent … because they know how to leverage an event to promote a client. Check page eight of the client strategy plan for details on “effective use of costuming for marketing at annual IMC Halloween Party.” Do you love this costume? Great! Let’s record that testimonial for future promotions.
Me? I’m an IMC student with a Management Area of Emphasis, but I dressed up as an undergrad. I enter the party with dark circles under my eyes – computer glued to one hand, a box of Ramen in the other. But I can see that bright post-grad future where I can earn the online master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from WVU while working and making an actual salary. And when that day comes, I’ll have a costume that rivals any of these.
More About Emily:
Emily Zekonis ( @EmilyZekonis) is a graduate student studying Integrated Marketing Communications with an Area of Emphasis in Management. She is from the Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania and holds a B.S.J. in Strategic Communications with an area of emphasis in Public Relations from West Virginia University. Follow along with her graduate adventures on the Marketing Communications Today blog.