Michael Molinaro always knew he wanted to be a part of the world’s greatest team –not the Patriots or the Dodgers, but the United States Military.
From 2004 to 2009, Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) student Molinaro served as a public affairs specialist for the U.S. Army in Fort Hood, Texas. Currently, Molinaro is a management and program analyst for the Defense Logistics Agency in Columbus, Ohio. In honor of Veteran’s Day, Molinaro shared his perspective on what it’s like to be an IMC student as well as an Army veteran.
Hollie Greene: Why did you decide to continue your education in the IMC program?
Michael Molinaro: First of all, I still had benefits with my G.I. Bill. I had earned those benefits, so why not use them? I was on the PRSA website doing some research for my job when I saw an ad for the program. I took a look, attended the webinar where they explained the whole thing, and I was very intrigued. I felt this program would set me up for success in the future. I’ve been in public affairs/relations my whole career, but I could see marketing and PR were merging. This program just made a lot of sense to me.
HG: What inspired you to enlist in the military?
MM: My love for this country. I felt a real sense of obligation, but I never had the guts to [enlist]. When the events of 9/11 happened, everything changed. I started doing a lot more reading, and it was nipping at me all of the time. Joining the Army was the best thing I ever did.
HG: What lessons or skills did you learn during your time in the military that you now apply to your education?
MM: Never give up and get the mission done. I am a father of two young kids. I have a demanding job, but when a paper is due, I can’t cry about it. I have to get it done, no matter the sacrifice. In the military, if you just give up or do something mediocre, then people get hurt and people who are putting their lives on the line for our country can be in jeopardy. So, if I have to write a paper at the last minute, then I just have to get it done. Same thing goes for my everyday life. Never give up. My kids are young, but I tell them that every day. We all get knocked down—get back up.
HG: How has the IMC program helped you further your career goals?
MM: Every course has given me a new tool for my toolbox, so to speak. In my current job, it’s helped me become better at research. Instead of waiting for someone to provide me with answers, I just get hungry and go find them. It also has set me up to really expand once I am done. I can stay with my current employers and be set for promotions, or I can maybe take a chance and do something brand new. Maybe start my own little firm.
HG: What does Veteran’s Day mean to you?
MM: It means honoring those who gave up something—their families, their friends, their time in college, their time at the beach, their younger years, their kids birthdays and holidays—all to ensure the safety of our country. They should be thanked every day.
In partnership with the U.S. Defense Information School (DINFOS), the Integrated Marketing and Communications program at the WVU Reed College of Media offers an application fee waiver, preferential admission to the program and a GRE/GMAT waiver to all DINFOS students. Learn more about our partnership.