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Jessica Marvin

IMC 636 Capstone Project

Completion Date – Spring 2016

Client – The Association for Talent Development

Residence – Alexandria, Virginia

Previous Degrees – B.A. of Integrated Studies with a Communications Concentration from Nevada State College in Henderson, NV—Go Scorpions!

Misc. Facts – What would you like readers to know about you? My first career (or my previous life, as I often say) was as a professional ballet dancer. I have a distinct memory of telling my mother at the age of 4 that ballet was what I was going to do. What she didn’t realize, was that unlike many little girls with big tutu pipedreams, this one was going to become a reality. At the age of 14 I was accepted into the School of American Ballet, with a professional career at Ballet Arizona. A leg injury cut my career short, and instead of moping I jumped right into putting the back-up plan into action, which was always college. Four years later I embarked on a completely different career path, and was ready to pursue a graduate degree program…and that’s how I found myself at WVU!

Capstone Experience -Being a storyteller, I would best describe Capstone as feeling as though you’re running a marathon on a suspension bridge while eating a whale. And here’s why.

The marathon: I equate the IMC program in general to a marathon, with Capstone being the final stretch to the finish line. As you matriculate through the classes, Capstone seems so close…yet so far away. When day 1 of Capstone hits, reality sets in quickly. Remember: Capstone isn’t merely the final push to finish, but to finish strong.

Eat that whale: To say it’s easy to become overwhelmed with Capstone would be an understatement. Instead of thinking about how the culmination of your tireless work in the program will be distilled into a 100+ page document that is completed in an 8-week time period, take it step by step. As the adage goes, “How do you eat whale? One bite at a time.” That was Capstone in a nutshell for me.

Remember the suspension bridge: As I often say, be a suspension bridge. In other words, have structure (in developing your plan), but always allow for flexibility. Surely you will have strong ideas as to how the project will unfold, but when client preferences, life outside of school, and the need to keep things moving along kick in (and oh, they will!), being flexible in your approach will serve you well.

Storytelling aside, trust in what you’ve learned up until this point. Nobody in this program gets to Capstone on a fluke. You have had the opportunity to learn from and alongside some of the most brilliant minds in the industry. Reach out to your professor for insight, your classmates for support, and remember that it’s ok to not have all of the answers on day 1.

Finally, I just want to thank all of the professors, IMC program staff, and classmates who were on journey with me. With that, it goes without saying to thank my biggest cheerleaders—my husband and twin boys, along with my tireless late night lap cat assistants—Ollie Boo & Esmeralda. I’m here, at the other side of this finish line because of your endless support.

If someone would have told me a couple of years ago that I’d successfully tackle a full-time graduate school course load while balancing a professional career and busy home life with two-year old twins, I’d have said it was impossible. As you might imagine, I’m so glad to have proven myself wrong.

Now that I have graduated, I am taking the next big leap of pursuing new career opportunities. You can reach me at

Executive Summary

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IMC Plan Highlights


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