How to Level Up Within a Company You Believe In

MSU Strategic Communication graduate, Danielle Deneau is currently the Senior Corporate Communications Manager at MSU Federal Credit Union, and is a textbook example of how to level up within a company you really believe in.

After switching from elementary education to communication during her undergraduate studies at MSU, Deneau followed in her mother’s footsteps and loved the variety of classes and subjects that communication studies offered.

“As someone who didn’t know what they wanted to do as a career after school, I felt like communication opened up a lot of doors,” said Deneau.

Deneau started at MSUFCU as a teller at the union branch on MSU’s campus, after her father brought up the idea of applying to the credit union when she graduated college.

“I have had an MSUFCU account since I was a baby, and although familiar with the credit union as my bank, I was at first hesitant to apply for a job here because I thought I would need to have a passion for finance and numbers,” said Deneau

After a year in, she moved into a loan officer position, and then from there started the management development program that the credit union offers to those interested in holding management and leadership positions. She explains how that program really opened the lens to how she could make a long and fruitful career out of this place.

“I worked as an eServices manager, a call center manager, and then a position opened in the internal and corporate communications department, and they needed a communications manager, which was my dream job, and thankfully I got it,” said Deneau.

Shortly after, the marketing and communication departments at MSUFCU merged and she had the opportunity to become the marketing and communications manager.

Deneau was searching for a grad school program on and off for about two years, but wasn’t finding the right fit. She told us when she came across the StratCom program and read the class descriptions, they really hit the mark on everything she wanted to learn more about.

She explains how being in her new marketing and communications manager role, there was a lot she still wanted to learn about the fundamentals of communication, and how to lead her team to win.

“Timing was a big player in my grad school decision,” said Deneau. “I felt like at that point in my life, I was finally ready to do something for myself which was huge.”

Deneau explains how she had never taken an online class previously, so she was nervous. But this program proved to her that there were other ways to make real connections aside from face-to-face, and because of the structure of the courses, she never felt lost.

From course videos to social media strategy techniques, Deneau utilized a lot of what she was learning in her classes’ day in and day out within her job. She attributes the program to a lot of the growth within herself personally, and within the company during those years.  

“I think the most exciting part of this program for me has been not only am I learning so much myself, but I’m also able to share what I’m learning with the members of my team,” said Deneau.

Since this interview, Deneau has been promoted from Marketing and Communications Manager to Senior Corporate Communications Manager at MSUFCU.


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