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Meet the Class of Fall 2020


Meet the Class of Fall 2020

At the conclusion of each semester the WVU Marketing Communications Programs are excited to celebrate our graduates. Meet the members of the class of fall 2020 who have successfully completed their studies in Data and Integrated Marketing Communications.

Ashley J. Cherry

Ashley J. Cherry

M.S. Integrated Marketing Communications

Brand Strategist

Why did you choose to pursue a WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Program?

I chose WVU's IMC program because I was extremely impressed with the elective offerings! From Web Metrics and SEO to courses in AR and VR. The program was like no other I could find at the time -- and being completely online was a major bonus.

This is a hard one! If I have to choose I'd say Creative Strategy & Execution. It was in this class where I discovered my true passion and focus area within the IMC field.

You will walk away from this program with so much more than just tactical knowledge. This program builds your confidence, leads you toward discovering your purpose/passion, and provides you with a massive network/community.

My first plan is sleep. No, honestly. Ha! I'm taking a serious sabbatical before I jump into the next big thing, but once I do I plan to stand up my own agency helping underfunded and under supported businesses build great ideas.

Danica Cunningham

Danica Cunningham

M.S. Data Marketing Communications

Field Marketing Officer with McDonald's, USA

Why did you choose to pursue a WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Program?

The relevance of the Data Marketing Communications master's degree coupled with the flexibility of the program really appealed to me as a full-time professional.  I liked that the program would ensure that I was staying relevant with changes in the marketing industry. As a native West Virginian, I was always proud that my parents are both alumni of WVU, and I loved the idea of having a family tradition of higher education from WVU.

What was your favorite course and why?

It's difficult to pick a favorite course, but DMC 663 Brand Data Collection and Visualization stands out as one of the classes that was the most out of my comfort zone initially. I ended up learning a great deal, and the content we covered was immediately applicable to my "day-job" as well.

What advise do you have to those considering the programs?

As somebody who tends to learn best through collaborative discussion, I was hesitant about how I would manage with a program that was conducted entirely online. Don't let that stop you! The learning experience still felt collaborative, even if the discussion was held online versus in a classroom. I not only learned through the course content, but my classmates and professors were all wealths of knowledge, too.

What are your plans for after graduation and future career goals?

I recently accepted a new role, and I'm eager to apply what I learned through the DMC program to some of my work in my new role. I feel very fortunate to work in a space and a time in the marketing industry that is naturally fascinating to me, and this program helped me deepen my understanding of what direction I would like to take my career next.

Jamie Mason

James Mason

M.S. Integrated Marketing Communications

Social Media Manager

Why did you chose to pursue a WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Program?

During my senior year of undergrad at West Virginia University, I began thinking about what was next. Would I enter the workforce? Would I continue my education? I wanted to do both but knew I had to decide on one or the other. That was until I found out about the Reed College of Media’s IMC program.

The IMC program offers the flexibility of a 100 percent online degree with the accessibility of a 100 percent in-person degree. This degree program would allow me to enter the workforce, but also continue my education simultaneously. It’s the best of both worlds. I took this as a sign and reached out to an IMC advisor that week. Three years later, here I am – graduating with my second degree from the Reed College of Media – and I could not be more satisfied with my experiences.

Because of the flexibility and practicality of the IMC program, I was able to tailor my degree to what I wanted to learn, not what somebody else thinks I should learn. Graduating from WVU with my Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications is a dream come true. As I prepare to virtually cross the stage, I am filled with a mix of emotions. Although my time with the WVU Reed College of Media has come to a close, I will always remember the fond memories and be proud to say I am a graduate of West Virginia University.

What was your favorite course? Why?

As I reflect on the ten courses I took during the program, it is hard to pinpoint just one that was my favorite – they were all impactful. If I must decide though, IMC 619: Emerging Media and the Market ranks at the top. The timely curriculum paired with the practical application allowed me to learn about cutting edge technologies and the evolution of the digital landscape in a truly fascinating way.

In this course we discovered how modern day marketers are using different forms of media to reach an array of audiences. In the time of COVID where nothing is traditional, I have a newfound appreciation of the lessons learned in that course about how we can use emerging media and technologies to stay in touch with our key audiences.

What advise do you have to those considering the programs?

Do it. You wont regret it. Enjoy the courses. One mistake that I made at the beginning of the program was to focus solely on my grade and not what I was learning. While getting good grades is important, what matters at the end of the day is that you absorb as much knowledge and skills as possible – that is what is going to allow you to succeed the most after graduation.

What are your plans for after graduation/What are you future career goals?

I would like to apply the knowledge gained from the IMC program to my current employer and grow in my current role. I am a Social Media Manager for an agency in the U.S. Federal Government with over 450,000 combined followers so getting our social media messaging and communications right is crucial to the success of our mission.

Interested in growing your career with a master's degree in Data, Digital or Integrated Marketing Communications? Request more information today!

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