MASC Newsletter FALL 2020

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Welcome Fall!

Welcome back to the start of a wonderful school year. By now, you should be settled into the life of a researcher, learning more than you ever thought possible in the Research Methods class. As you conduct your research project and prepare your mind for the upcoming ethics course, pause to remember that the Fall, more than any other season, is celebrated as one in which we give thanks. When time allows, take a long walk and reflect on God's goodness toward us. Take time for renewal.

I am excited to welcome so many into our program. It was wonderful seeing most of you on our impromptu Zoom meeting early in the semester. I hope you found the Q&A session helpful. For me, it was great to put faces with names. I look forward to interacting with you more in our optional Zoom meetings throughout the semester. If I can be of any assistance to you in the time between the meetings, feel free to contact me via email (mlonganderson@apu.edu) or phone (949.478.3536).

I am including the course offerings for the 2020-2021 school year at the end of this newsletter. Registration is currently open for our Fall II course.

If you aren't already, please follow the program on LinkedIn (APU - M.A. in Strategic Communication) and Facebook (APU M.A. in Strategic Communication). Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn as well (Mia Anderson, Ph.D.). These are great spaces for learning more about the industry and engaging with other professionals.


Dr. Anderson, Program Director, MASC

The Importance of Networking

As a graduate program director, I often have conversations with undergraduate students and working professionals considering a graduate education. One of their top concerns is whether a graduate degree will help them secure a job post-graduation or pave the way for advancement at their current job. As The Muse points out, there are great reasons to obtain a master's degree in communication: (1) you want to acquire expertise in communication, (2) you want to improve your research and presenting skill set, and (3) you want to learn to write effectively for multiple platforms and audiences.

I like to also point out that a degree alone does not equal success. In addition to earning the graduate degree, I urge potential students to engage in effective networking. In fact, Forbes magazine deems it essential for one's career. According to the magazine, networking provides: a road to newer opportunities, a reassessment of your qualifications, a "library" of information and access, support from high profile professionals, greater self-confidence, and long-lasting relationships. Here are three ways you can begin networking effectively, no matter where you are in your graduate studies.

1. Get LinkedIn

I can't say enough about maintaining an active presence on LinkedIn. Here are just a few stats on the social network: (1) half of internet users with a college degree use LinkedIn, (2) four out of of five LinkedIn users are decision makers at their company, and (3) more than 4 million LinkedIn users were hired through the site in 2019. I have personally taught students who finished their degree with an internship or job as a result of recruitment through LinkedIn. The connections you make on LinkedIn increase your access to information and organizations. In addition to connecting with individuals, LinkedIn allows you to build relationships by engaging with groups of interest to you. For instance, I am currently in the alumni groups of my universities, as well as the Public Relations, Corporate and Media Community group, the PR Daily group, and the International Communication Association group. To learn more about building your LinkedIn profile, click here.

2. Join Professional Organizations

Connecting with a professional organization places you at the forefront of industry trends. It also connects you with other professionals in the industry and offers opportunities for professional development through seminars, workshops, and conferences. Over the last year, I have been fortunate to attend webinars on topics ranging from crisis communication to storytelling to diversity and inclusion. Each of these areas is directly applicable to my work as a professor and my overall strategic communication toolkit. Members of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) receive access to monthly publications, professional development and networking opportunities. Members of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) also receive discounts from various organizations, including AdAge, the premier publication of the advertising industry. Likewise, members of the American Marketing Association (AMA) receive opportunities for professional development and networking, along with access to Marketing News magazine and journals. Finally, professional organizations provide opportunities to serve in leadership roles, a much-sought after skill in most industries. I've included a list of organizations below to get you started.

3. Attend Professional Events

Most professional organizations host an annual conference and numerous regional conferences, which feature workshops and seminars on the latest industry trends. A recent AMA conference included sessions on relationship marketing, cultural analysis in the marketplace, brand management, and writing and responding to peer reviews. The events also present amazing opportunities to interact with others in the field, who you can remain connected with on LinkedIn. Curtis & Coulter offer five reasons people attend conferences, each of which I feel are beneficial for you: (1) networking, (2) gaining knowledge, (3) presenting your ideas, (4) allowing people to meet you, and (5) learning beyond your chosen field. If you haven't attended a professional conference, I encourage you to give it a try.

As you continue in the program, take a moment at the end of each course to reflect on what you are learning beyond the classroom. What are the life lessons you are gaining from this experience? I would love to hear and perhaps share them in a future newsletter. Email your life lessons to mlonganderson@apu.edu. Also, if you haven't completed the student profile Google form, please do. I would love to feature you in an upcoming newsletter.

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MASC Course Schedule: 2020 - 2021

Fall 2020: COMM 503: Research for Strategic Communication (I), COMM 505: Ethics in Strategic Communication (II)

Spring 2021: COMM 506: Reputation Management (I), COMM 504: Digital Analytics and Consumer Insights (II)

Summer 2021: COMM 513: Branding (I), COMM 520: Global Strategic Communication (II)

Fall 2021: COMM 500: Applied Strategic Communication Theory (I), COMM 590: Professional Project 1 (I), COMM 502: Storytelling and Content Creation (II), COMM 596: Professional Project 2 (II)