By #MSUStratCom student Stephanie VanDoorn-Kazyak. She graduates in May.
Just before I started my Strategic Communication journey in May 2017, I realized what I wanted to do with my career. What was missing was the right education program to elevate the experiences I already had in the communications field. I have always had a passion for telling a visual story through digital communications, and one of my strengths is building connections and relationships, but my post-undergrad career path was pulling me further away from that dream. I knew I wanted my graduate studies to be from Michigan State University — where I received my undergraduate degree — so when I discovered the Strategic Communication program, I knew it was meant to be.
This program has not only provided me with extensive knowledge in digital communications but was a contributing factor in my promotion to Social Media Marketing Specialist at Herman Miller in West Michigan. I know that without this education, I would not have had the confidence to speak as an expert in this field and be able to transition into a new area within a company I had already been working at for two years.
I'm thankful for the small classroom atmosphere the Strategic Communication program provides its students. Since the program is 100-percent online, group projects and online discussion — through the courses, and on Slack — help you network with people across the country that you would probably not connect with otherwise.
Another area that I'm passionate about is leadership and professional development. At work, I am heavily involved in development opportunities and groups to continue furthering leadership education for my colleagues. The Strategic Communication program not only focuses the curriculum around digital communications content, but brings in a leadership component to provide a well-rounded experience. I was honored to take a class led by the Dr. Prabu David — dean of the College of Communications Arts and Sciences — about being a catalyst for leadership in the C-Suite which discussed the evolution of leadership styles over the years and how I could implement change in a professional setting.
The Strategic Communication Master's Program at Michigan State University is laying the foundation for me and my career. Through networking with fellow students and the curriculum built by the staff, I know that after I complete this program, I will have the knowledge and experience to reach my goals and continue having a successful career in digital communications.