Recently, we had a chance to chat with Megan Bayles, a 2017 graduate of the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) program at West Virginia University. She is now the marketing coordinator at Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, Delaware.
Keep reading for a chance to hear Megan's story and to find out why the IMC program at WVU continues to be one of the premier programs in the country.
Why did you choose the WVU IMC program?
I chose WVU’s IMC program because of its prestige, flexibility and affordability. Not only is this degree program known worldwide as a powerhouse, but its fully online curriculum allows you to complete your studies on your own time and at your own pace, without completely breaking the bank.
Why did you decide to start graduate school right after you received your undergraduate degree?
Upon graduating from college, I didn’t feel like I had found my niche in the marketplace. I knew that eventually I wanted to continue my education, so I thought, ‘what better time than now?’ It would help me broaden my knowledge and enhance my skills, and allow me to explore different facets of the communications and marketing worlds.
How did the IMC degree help you during your job search?
Actually, I learned of my current position and employer from a fellow WVU IMC student. I met him at Integrate West Virginia and when he posted a job opening in our IMC student Facebook group, I jumped on it! I don’t think I would have known about the position if it had not been for the WVU IMC program, and I know I wouldn’t have landed it without the knowledge and skills I gained during my studies.
While in the program, did you have any mentors that helped you get to this point?
In terms of mentors, I didn’t have just one. I consider all of my professors to have been my mentors. The professors in the WVU IMC program are extremely smart, skilled, experienced and approachable. They were always reachable and so willing to help with any project or concern.
I also considered the WVU IMC staff to have been my mentors. I had the privilege and pleasure of working with the WVU IMC staff as a graduate assistant while completing my degree, and all of my coworkers were always more than happy to answer my questions, give me advice and be my springboard for ideas .
What is something you learned in the program that you have been able to apply to your current job?
There are so many lessons I learned through the WVU IMC program that I’ve been able to apply to my job that it’s hard to pick just one.
First, the program taught me a lot about time and stress management. Since the program is all online, it is completely on you to read the lessons, study the textbooks and complete the assignments. You quickly learn the pace at which you can work and the work environment in which you are the most productive. This introspective lesson has taught me how to better manage my time in my current position and has allowed more thoroughly understand my preferred work style.
What would you tell someone who is considering a program like IMC, but is unsure about doing an online program?
I would tell them that I too was unsure about an online program, but the WVU IMC program is unlike any other online program that I’ve ever seen. Its use of Blackboard technology to share ideas and work allows you get to know your classmates and thoroughly understand their points of view. Plus, the professors are there for you every step of the way; totally reachable by both email and phone. Honestly, I feel like I got to know some of my classmates and professors better through this online program than I have in face-to-face classes.
What advice do you have for PR and communications students today?
Never stop learning. This program’s students are so diverse; of different ages, experience levels, ethnicity, cultures. No matter whom you are in classes with, who you meet or who you work with, there is always something that you can learn from them. That is especially true in the worlds of public relations, communications and marketing. Each person’s unique background gives them a different perspective, and allows them to approach problems and prompts differently. If we can open our minds and be willing to continually learn from one another, we will no doubt, be more successful in our jobs.
What was the best part of your education at WVU and how did your time there prepare you for the profession?
The best part of my education was the people that I met through the program. By attending Integrate conferences and avidly participating in my classes, I was able to meet (and ‘e-meet’) some remarkable people. It was those people, and the WVU IMC program in general, that taught me to never stop learning. It is those that are humble and willing to learn that go out there and, for lack of better words, kick some butt! Going into the professional world with this type of mindset has helped me immensely and I can’t wait to see where my career leads!
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If you have questions about the Integrated Marketing Communications program at WVU, we invite you to request more information today!