Though I certainly believe that my undergraduate degree more than prepared me as a professional, it was the continued learning experiences through the graduate program in the School of Communication that inspired the scholar within me. It is through my continued learning as a student within the Health Communication program that I was able to determine my passions personally and professionally - leading me to a career as a higher education administrator. The foundational skills for interpersonal and intercultural communication, research, and application are instrumental to my work in ensuring equity of access and opportunity as a Title IX officer. Further, these skills provided me the confidence to continue my formal education to the fullest extent - earning my Doctorate of Education in May 2017. An advanced degree in communication provides professionals with the opportunity to further explore the complexities of the meaning made through dialogue and rhetoric; coupling this with the added emphasis in health communication allows students to explore the potential for all outcomes in health contexts.
I returned to East Carolina University as a non-traditional graduate student after spending more than ten years in the field. My tenure as a public relations and marketing practitioner provided a unique perspective that prepared me for continuing my education. What I was not prepared for, however, was the life-changing impact the experience, and most especially the research, would have on me. ECU School of Communication faculty encouraged my scholarship and brought out a new awareness in me that would make an indelible mark on my career and outlook on life. The faculty carefully selected relevant texts, facilitated rich student-guided discussions and encouraged investigation and learning that ultimately had more influence on my scholarship than I knew possible in an online learning environment.
Kelley's first position out of college was as account coordinator for Carney & Co., an advertising agency in Rocky Mount, NC. When she graduated from ECU in 2000, she researched and selected several agencies in North Carolina. She got a call from the Carney & Company president about an opening he had not even posted. Since then, Kelley has worked at another advertising agency and in a communication role for a large financial institution.
From the School of Communication, Kelley acknowledges Dr. Rebecca Dumlao as becoming a great mentor during graduate school. Kelly says Dumlao helped her hone her inquisitive nature, see the impact and potential of her research and guided her through every step of her thesis research.
Her advice to new graduates is use their network and resources and to think outside of the box. Kelley says every applicant should set themselves apart and let employers know exactly why they would want them on their team.
From the School of Communication, Jason acknowledges Dr. Keith Richards as becoming a great mentor during graduate school. Jason worked closely with Dr. Richards through his research study and while traveling to Swaziland. Jason says Richards helped him see the importance and the impact of his research while guiding him through doors of opportunity that may have been otherwise overlooked.
His advice to new graduates is to think beyond their borders. Jason says every graduate should set themselves apart by identifying personal characteristics that promote growth, excellence, and sustainability.
The graduate program is perfect for the communication professional or recent undergraduate who wants to further their career or explore more into the field of communication. With the guidance of experienced faculty graduate students can expect a topnotch communication experience. My experiences as a TA, GA and RA were invaluable when it comes to my current career as a communication instructor and I never would have been able to achieve what I have without the knowledge and experience when it comes to Communication Pedagogy and Research Methods as well as a concentration on Interpersonal Communication skills. The SOC Communication Graduate Program is the choice in Eastern North Carolina for a quality education and transformative experience in the Communication Professional's journey to an advanced degree.
The ECU School of Communication’s MA in Communication was an outstanding foundation for me. The research and coursework were challenging and engaging, and I received unparalleled support and investment from SOC faculty. I own a strategic communications and marketing practice, and my education from program’s emphasis in Health Communication continues to offer a competitive edge in my work with clients in public health and healthcare.