About Diana Delgado: Diana Delgado works as a Communications Associate for Share Our Strength, a nonprofit organization in Washington D.C. dedicated to finding long-term solutions to hunger issues both in the U.S. and abroad. Prior to her current position, Ms. Delgado worked as a Client Services Coordinator at Wunderman DC, and Marketing and Communications Lead at the D.C. startup MISFIT Juicery. She also spent over two years as a Financial Analyst at Edelman before deciding to pursue her master’s degree in 2015.
Ms. Delgado graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. In 2017, she completed her master’s through the Master of Professional Studies in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) program at Georgetown University.
[MastersinCommunications.com] May we please have a brief description of your educational and professional background?
[Diana Delgado] I attended the University of Maryland, College Park for my undergraduate studies and graduated in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. After graduating, I worked for a small consulting firm and then after a couple years, landed at Edelman in their DC office. There, I worked as a financial analyst, administering the billing process for clients, tracking monthly revenues and forecasting.
I knew I didn’t want to continue down the finance track, so after about two years at Edelman, I decided to pursue a master’s degree in communications. In the fall of 2015, I began my studies at Georgetown and while I was studying, I did a couple of internships including leading the marketing and communications for a food startup called MISFIT Juicery. I graduated from Georgetown with my Master of Professional Studies in Integrated Marketing Communications in May 2017.
Currently, I’m a Communications Associate at Share Our Strength, a DC-based nonprofit dedicated to ending hunger and poverty in the US and abroad. I execute the communications strategies in support of corporate fundraising partnerships, including the organization’s largest fundraising platform — Dine Out for No Kid Hungry.
[MastersinCommunications.com] Why did you decide to pursue a master’s degree in communication, and why did you ultimately choose the Master of Professional Studies in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) program at Georgetown University?
[Diana Delgado] As I alluded to above, I decided to pursue graduate school because I knew I did not want to continue working in finance and I wanted to make a career transition into marketing and communications. While I gained valuable analytical skills through my work experience, I also learned that my interest was really on the more human side of business. I was also eager to pursue a more creative profession where I could use my written and interpersonal communication skills.
The Master of Professional Studies in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) program at Georgetown University appealed to me for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it offered me the opportunity to network with other students, as well as professors who are industry executives and thought leaders. I also liked that the program is designed for working professionals, with the classes being offered during the evening hours. And lastly, I felt the curriculum allowed me to build upon the marketing foundation I already had from my undergraduate studies and to delve deeper into the areas that interested me.
[MastersinCommunications.com] How is Georgetown’s IMC program structured, and what concepts did the program emphasize? What skills and strategies did you learn in your classes, and how did you apply them to course assignments?
[Diana Delgado] The IMC program consists of 33 credits or 11 courses total. You are required to complete two core courses, three foundation courses, and six elective courses. You have the flexibility to earn your degree at a pace that fits your schedule, either full-time (three courses a semester) or part-time (one to two courses a semester).
The two core courses are Conversations About Ethics, which you take in your first semester, and Capstone, which comes in the final semester. The three foundation courses are Consumer Research & Insights, IMC Campaign Planning and The Brand Concept.
The program really emphasized the need for research and planning before jumping straight into the tactical execution of a campaign. I appreciated this because once it came time for my final Capstone project, I was able to be more thoughtful and find research to inform my insights and tactics.
[MastersinCommunications.com] Could you please describe your experience completing your capstone project? What communication issue or challenge did it address, and what were your primary deliverables (i.e. communications plan, tutorial, video, visual marketing materials, etc.)? What advice do you have for students in terms of successfully completing their project?
[Diana Delgado] For my Capstone project, I worked with a client on building awareness and engagement among a new target audience they were trying to reach. The primary deliverable was a communications plan, including a situational analysis, competitive landscape, goals, objectives, strategy and tactics.
I think the hardest part of this project for me was communicating with my client and getting feedback on my work in a timely manner. Luckily, my faculty advisor was extremely helpful throughout the process. We checked in weekly during the whole semester, and I was able to bounce ideas off her or simply vent when I was feeling frustrated by the process.
My advice to other students is to focus on the research and insight the most! If you have robust research and data, you are much more likely to reach a meaningful insight about your client or target audience. The strategy and tactics will come easily after that. And don’t forget to have some fun with it!
[MastersinCommunications.com] What key takeaways, experiences, or connections from Georgetown’s MPS in Integrated Marketing Communications program have you found to be the most helpful for you in your career path?
[Diana Delgado] The two courses I found to be the most useful were Visual Communications and Personal Branding. I learned new skills in Visual Communications such as how to use InDesign and how to use data visualization to tell a story. Personal branding was a great way to reflect inward and think about how others perceive me, which is useful for anyone. I still use the skills and insights I learned in both these classes in my everyday life at work and sometimes even in my personal life as well.
[MastersinCommunications.com] What advice would you give students just starting Georgetown University’s Master of Professional Studies in Integrated Marking Communications program? More broadly, what advice would you give students who are either considering or starting a master’s in communication program, whether it be at Georgetown or another university?
[Diana Delgado] My advice to anyone starting a master’s in communication program is to use the opportunity to grow your network. Whether you’re looking for a job or not while pursuing your master’s, keeping in touch with fellow students and professors is always helpful because you never know where you might be a few years down the road. Plus, you’ll most likely make some friends out of the experience as well! I met some really interesting, smart and dedicated people at Georgetown, and I’m so grateful for that.
Thank you, Ms. Delgado, for your excellent insights on Georgetown University’s Master of Professional Studies in Integrated Marking Communications program!