As a twenty-something born in the early 90s, I have always been interested in technology and connecting with people over the internet. From AIM and Myspace to Twitter and Instagram, I immersed myself in each platform, creating an online persona to interact with my peers.
Fast forward to my post-graduate life. I was looking for a change and I wanted to take my passion for social media and make it a career. However, with a bachelor’s degree in political science, I was going to need some help to make my dream a reality. Enter a life changing Facebook post.
In September 2016, I was skimming Facebook and a friend of mine posted a link to MSU's Strategic Crisis Communication Master’s Program. After clicking on the link, I was immediately enthralled with what the program had to offer. A whole program on how to think strategically in an ever-changing, fast-paced environment? Sign me up!
Since I worked on campus, I reached out to colleagues at ComArtSci to get more information about this picture-perfect master’s program. I was put in contact with Valeta Wensloff, or as I would come to find out, the Strategic Communication Fairy Godmother.
I was nervous to meet with Valeta, but after stepping into her turquoise office, I immediately felt at home. The program was still in development, but she filled me in on what was offered. A course on social media and digital design, one on strategic thinking, another on how to communicate when faced with a crisis. I was hooked. I applied to the program that day, just hours after speaking with Valeta, and was accepted soon after.
I am now in my third semester of the Strategic Communication Online Master’s program and I have never stopped singing its praises. The course work I have taken thus far has drastically improved my ability to communicate effectively across digital platforms.
While intimidating at first, the online classes make working full- time with a full course load manageable. The professors and communication professionals who teach the courses are deeply invested in each of us and strive for our overall success.
I am often asked if I miss the connection of taking an in-person class, and to that I respond that I feel the participants in this program are more connected over the internet than we would be in a lecture hall. We connect over message boards and a Facebook group, completing group projects in cyberspace. We are spread out from coast to coast, but are always available to answer a fellow classmate’s question.
Since beginning this program, I have started in a new communications role, one that I know I wouldn’t have been hired for or been able to do without the knowledge I have gained in this program. Moving forward, I am excited to see what is in store, but I am also sad that I am rushing towards the end of a program that has helped me so much.
My life has changed thanks to a Facebook post I came across on that September day. How many people can say that?
By Kaitlin Nye