As an Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) student here at West Virginia University, your pursuit of knowledge is supported at every step of the way as you work towards being a successful marketing professional.
Aaliyah Wilkerson, a current IMC student with an undergraduate degree from Florida A&M University (FAMU), fully embraces the "encyclopedia of unlimited marketing and communications information" as she goes through her IMC coursework.
Some of our best students (like Aaliyah!) come from FAMU. That could be because FAMU students who enroll in a master's degree program at WVU are eligible for a full university tuition waiver. Graduate Feeder Scholars qualify for this waiver due to WVU's participation with the Graduate Feeder Scholars program. We asked Aaliyah to answer a few questions so that you too can learn from her experiences in the IMC program.
What has been your favorite part of the program so far?
My favorite part is hearing from professors and classmates about strategies and tools they use, and brainstorming new ideas with them. Whenever I login to class, it feels as if I am walking into a database or encyclopedia of unlimited marketing and communications information. I have been able to take what I’ve learned from my classmates and professors and implement it at work, where the outcomes have been positive.
What encouraged you to apply for the Integrated Marketing Communications graduate program?
I was in the undergraduate broadcast journalism program at Florida A&M University, and I spoke with a WVU IMC representative at the university’s Graduate Feeder Conference. Until then, I hadn't considered pursuing graduate education. The recruiter told me all about the IMC experience, and then I went home and did my research. I read about success stories and how the IMC program is dedicated to helping their students become leading forces in the marketing world. In undergrad, I gained a lot of marketing and communication experience. For graduate school, I was looking for a curriculum that could help me learn the science behind the craft, and I saw that in WVU's IMC program.
What would you tell undergraduate students about the IMC program?
You can’t go wrong with the program’s flexibility and knowledgeable faculty. Although it is an online program, the experience isn't like the typical online class in undergrad that I was used to. The professors know your name and work quality, and they offer you professional advice to ensure you are at your best.
With the IMC program, you don’t have to choose between going straight into the workforce or pursuing an education—you can do both from a fully respected and accredited university. And the best part…you can practice what you learn in the classroom at your job!
As a current IMC student, what tips would you give to students beginning the program?
Get excited and remember proper planning is essential! When working full-time and trying to manage grad school, there can be a lot of pressure. If you can stay ahead, you’ll be just fine. Also, find a classmate or classmates who will support you and hold you accountable. In every class, I offer to create a GroupMe or class group chat so that we can encourage each other, send reminders to discuss different topics, etc.
I connected with a classmate in my first semester, and we always helped each other when we were overwhelmed. Most people would think online programs cut out classmate interaction, but it’s all about what you make of it. Challenge yourself to be involved and stay connected with school dates, classmates and professors, and you will soar.
How do you anticipate this degree will help in your career?
Whether I decide to pursue a long-term career in marketing communications or go back into the news industry, the IMC program has taught me something relevant to both industries — how to understand consumer behavior. Everything an organization does is aimed at pleasing its customers. Whether I am on-air talent or managing integrated marketing strategies for the news station, knowing the ins and outs of my target audience will ensure success in any decision.