IMC 636 Capstone Project
Completion Date – Spring 2017
Client - United Federal Credit Union (South Bend Market Expansion)
Residence – St. Joseph, Michigan
Undergraduate Degree – Bachelor of Fine Arts, Radio/Television from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX
Misc. Facts – I started my career as a radio news journalist in Michigan after receiving my BFA in Radio/Television from Sam Houston State University. I spent four years as an award-winning reporter, but ultimately determined it was necessary to reinvent myself and my career, and so took my first steps into marketing as a copywriter at an advertising agency. For the next several years, I spent time building my experience on the creative side serving clients and working with art directors and creative directors to deliver quality work to improve the consumer’s in-store experience for Whirlpool Corp. Now, I am working to grow my marketing career beyond the creative, and have moved to a local credit union as a marketing communications coordinator. My journey to the WVU IMC program began while searching for MBA programs online. I chose WVU’s IMC program because of its unique marketing-centric curriculum. The courses cover a wide variety of marketing disciplines that I have already put into practice on the job. The IMC program has not only made me a better marketer, it has improved my approach to problem solving and critical thinking. I credit my professors and the IMC program with helping to turn a creative writer into a multifaceted marketing leader who possesses the understanding of the power of integrated communications.
Capstone Experience – My Capstone experience taught me three main points: the benefits of developing a carefully thought out integrated marketing communications plan, the determination to push beyond what I believed to be possible, and the confidence to prepare and present my marketing ideas to coworkers, managers, and future employers.
By understanding that a highly-effective IMC campaign must combine creative, analytical, and critical thinking, the Capstone course challenged me to look beyond my strengths and create a plan that considered multiple points of view (e.g. creative executions, media buying, audience research, internal communications, etc.). Each part of my Capstone campaign allowed me to recall insights gained from previous courses I had taken during the IMC program and pushed me to clearly craft a project where all components fit together as one integrated plan.
The beauty of Capstone is in the challenge presented. As a marketer, my job is to help my company solve business challenges every year, every quarter, and every day. Completing my Capstone involved spending weekends at the library researching and building the plan as well as networking with others to form a focus group. The dedication, determination, and focus required was some of the most intense I have ever experienced to complete a project, however the confidence gained at the end is what this course is all about. That being said, I wasn’t alone in my journey. My professor was available anytime I needed clarification on an assignment or a “gut check” on an idea. His guidance and feedback made it possible for me to realize that what I once thought to be a dream—earning a master’s degree and growing as a marketer—was soon to be a reality.