By Carli-Rae Panny – Entering the Interactive Communication Media program was the best decision I have made for my career so far. Looking back, when I applied to Quinnipiac’s master’s program one month before the September 2012 semester began I didn’t put much thought into how I would manage going back to school, only that I hoped it would open doors for me by broadening my skillset in online media and expand my network to help me get a better job.
At first, earning a master’s degree was a proactive way to combat inevitable unemployment. At the time, I was working third shift as an editor of a struggling startup online news organization and I expected to find out I was jobless on any given morning – just as I had at my previous job as a reporter just one year before. The current state of the journalism industry was what caused me to look for a master’s degree program in
digital communications. Surely there had to be a job out there that was more stable and less inauspicious. Thankfully, when I was laid off in October 2013 as predicted, I felt like my plan was more in motion than ever because what I predicted had come true. Of course now – just a few days before graduation – I am floored to start a new career at IBM that will combine just about everything I learned in the master’s program with my previous editorial and enhanced analytical skills.
I found the courses on user-centered design and interactive techniques to be the most interesting, and so far most rewarding. I was so captivated by user-centered design, something I had never heard of before I took the initial required class, that I devoted my final semester to learning more about it, making it the focus of my capstone project and signing up for the advanced-level course. I feel my studies in this field has so far been the most rewarding because I think it is experience that sets me apart from other job candidates who want to work in digital communications. It shows a comprehension of not only how a successful website works, but also what makes it a success.