Program: Digital Marketing and Design MS
Graduation Year: ’21
Current Company: The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University
How a background in journalism has been an asset to my master’s studies and career in strategic communications & marketing
When I made the decision to transition from a career in journalism to a career in media relations and marketing, I knew I needed to broaden my skill set. While I had plenty of writing experience, I did not have a background in design or data analytics. I had taken a few graduate classes previously at another institution, but I hadn’t yet found a program that I felt would prepare me for the fast-evolving environment and challenges of communicating in a digital era.
I was fortunate enough to enroll in GPS’s Digital Marketing and Design program while as a staff member at the Brandeis Library, and immediately I knew I was in good company. Although my faculty and students came from different industries, we all had similar interests and had experienced similar challenges in our work, such as needing to increase newsletter open rates, improve user experience navigating websites, and make our content more accessible. It was encouraging to see so many of my peers had similar career paths and could relate to the experience of going from writing news articles to pitching story ideas and building multichannel marketing campaigns.
My writing background was an asset when I started the program, and I was eager to learn how to take those fundamental skills and create marketing content that was both concise and meaningful for our audiences. I appreciated how I could take each week’s lesson and almost instantly apply it to my work designing newsletters, building webpages, and drafting social media content. Being able to share my real-world successes and struggles with my classmates and learn from their insights helped me become not only a better writer but also a more strategic communicator overall.
I had only taken traditional classes before, so I was initially concerned about whether the online format would be a good fit for me, but I found that I felt more connected to my faculty and classmates through engaging in regular assignments and message board discussions throughout the week as opposed to seeing them in-person once a week. As a plus, the online format gave me the flexibility to work on assignments on my own time, whether it was during my lunch break or on a Sunday evening. I was able to complete my program within three years while working full-time, and within months of graduating, I was pleased to accept a new role as the senior communications specialist at the Heller School in summer 2021.
I’m excited about the new opportunities ahead, and I’m grateful to GPS for helping give me the tools and connections to take my career to the next level.
For more information on the Digital Marketing and Design MS or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.