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IMC Student Credits his Education and the Marines for his Professionalism

Andrew standing on a tank in his Military uniform.

Two things have helped Andrew Stofleth grow into the professional he is today: his education and the United States Marine Corps.

From 2004 To 2008, Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) student Stofleth served as a team leader and later as training instructor for the U.S. Marine Corps. After his service, Stofleth went on to work in public affairs for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and at Alltech in Lexington, Kentucky. 

In honor of Veteran’s Day, Stofleth shared his perspective on what it’s like being an IMC student and a former Marine.

Hollie Greene: What made you decide to continue your education in the IMC program?

Andrew Stofleth: Originally, I considered an MBA, but I didn’t feel like it was specific enough. Technology is redefining the traditional roles in our industry. There’s so much crossover between PR, marketing and advertising that as a professional, you’re really doing yourself a disservice by not understanding the whole landscape. 

I started asking around and found out about the IMC program. I looked at the curriculum online and felt like it matched up with what I was looking for in a graduate program. I applied, and the rest is history.

HG: What have you learned or gained from the IMC program that you use in your daily job or everyday life?

AS: The IMC network of instructors and classmates has been a huge asset for me. There’s a lot of experience and familiarity with services and technology. Conversations extend well beyond the classroom. It helps provide perspective. 

HG: What did you learn from your time in the Military that you apply to your everyday life?

AS: You might think it would be organization, but I don’t think that’s the top takeaway. To me, service teaches us to be selfless. It’s too rare a quality in people. I think it helps me to rationalize decisions and remain objective—something the world could use a little more of these days. 

HG: How has the IMC program helped further your career goals?

AS: I learned quickly what knowledge I was lacking. The IMC program helped fill those gaps. Now, I’m capable of performing a larger scope of work. That opens me up to new opportunities and makes me more marketable as a job candidate.

HG: How did the Military help further your career goals?

AS: I wouldn’t be where I am today without the educational benefits. It’s helped me transition into a career I’m passionate about. 

I’ve also met some of the most driven people in the service. Watching them succeed challenges me to work harder to accomplish my goals. 

I also like to think that my time in the Marines Corps was like a constant lesson in Murphy’s Law. I took a few things away from this. I learned to anticipate problems and manage expectations. Part of that is learning to dig deep and stay motivated. That and humor. You have to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. I think those things have really helped define me personally and professionally.

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.