Westminster College in Utah offers a fairly unique Master of Strategic Communication program that utilizes a combination of online coursework, client-driven projects, and hands-on learning experiences. To give prospective students a closer look at this online/hybrid degree track, we interviewed 10 graduates who earned their master’s from Westminster. Alumni Nicole Anderson, David Blackmer, Melissa Braithwaite, Lex Jensen, Danielle LeCourt, Adrianna Montero, Tyson Olcott, Christine Osborne, Garrett Sherwood, and Autumn Thatcher were all kind enough to share detailed insights about their experiences in the program, its curricular structure, the fully funded capstone international trip, and more.
The Strategic Communication master’s program at Westminster focuses on five specific content areas: Rhetoric and Strategic Public Relations, Visual Communication and Brand Strategy, Organizational Communication and Culture, Integrated Marketing Communication, and Instructional Design. For more about this innovative degree, check out the in-depth interviews below.
Interview with Adrianna Montero - 2015 Graduate
"One of the greatest gains from the program, are the connections I made. Those in my cohort and the faculty advisors are still some of my greatest supporters of my career. My cohort still communicates with one another and we meet up to catch up on our lives and encourage career support and guidance."
Interview with Autumn Thatcher - 2015 Graduate
"I liked the idea of attending a small college with small class sizes and really getting to know my professors. I knew at orientation that I had made the right decision. The faculty mentors in the program were so accomplished and I was excited by the expertise they had to offer... My faculty mentors genuinely cared about my success both as a student and as a working professional. I know that I can still go to any one of them with questions or advice (and I do this often), and they will be there."
Interview with Christine Osborne - 2015 Graduate
"Once I looked through the MSC curriculum at Westminster College, I was sold. The range of topics, chance to work with clients, opportunities to learn about project management and effective team-building, freedom to work on assignments after the kids were in bed, and one-on-one faculty mentoring made the program unique among the graduate programs I evaluated."
Interview with Danielle LeCourt - 2014 Graduate
"Personally, I found the iterative nature of the instruction the most helpful. Rather than simply turning in an assignment and getting the grade you get, students were required to submit and re-submit until the desired result was achieved. This really pushed me to expand my skills and grow into the professional I am today."
Interview with David Blackmer - 2014 Graduate
"This learning method, in a small cohort where faculty could focus on every individual and dedicate substantial time to each of them, pushed me to achieve and learn more than any previous educational experience. It was the most focused schooling I had ever gone through, which is why I got so much out of it – and loved every minute (even the more challenging times)."
Interview with Garrett Sherwood - 2016 Graduate
"My first job after completing the program was for a company that I had taken on as a client for one of my MSC projects. They were so impressed with the work we did, that as soon as I graduated, they offered me a job. The MSC program really kickstarted my career, but it was also full of some of the most memorable, rewarding experiences I’ve had."
Interview with Lexi Jensen - 2018 Graduate
"A few things appealed to me the most about this program: 1. It was online, so I wouldn’t have to leave work early to attend night classes. 2. No GRE needed to apply. 3. A final portfolio instead of a thesis. And 4, it was a project-based program. After starting the program, I discovered even more benefits and knew I made the best choice for my graduate degree."
Interview with Melissa Braithwaite - Graduate
"I think the entire program was extremely beneficial to my career path. The program gave me skills in critical areas that many companies look for… I really appreciate the way the professors choose to be more of a mentor than a teacher. This created a really positive learning environment that helped me feel a lot more confident in the skills I was gaining and being able to implement them at work."
Interview with Nicole Anderson - 2014 Graduate
"I personally believe that my choice in programs changed me for the better. I am still in contact with most of the professors in my cohort and many of my fellow cohort members, many of whom continue to push me out of my comfort zone and encourage me to grow within the business and academic world."
Interview with Tyson Olcott - 2017 Graduate
"One of the many things Westminster does really well is make every student feel special. During my time at Westminster, I never felt like I was just a number. I always felt like I was an individual with individual learning styles and tactics that my professors knew and understood well. The amount of individual attention and open office hours I received really helped make the difference between my success and failure. Whether it was by email, text message, Skype, or a quick phone call to discuss individual or group projects I always felt like the faculty had my back."