Even as an Army veteran, Stacy Ouellette thinks not of herself on Veteran’s Day but of men and woman currently serving.
Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) student Ouellette believes her service in the Military set her up for a successful career. Currently, Ouellette works for the United States Department of Defense in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In honor of Veteran’s Day, Ouellette shared her perspective on what it’s like to be an IMC student and an Army veteran.
Hollie Greene: What made you decide to continue your education in the IMC program?
Stacy Ouellette: As a professional and person, you can never stop learning and growing. I'm balancing my career with life as a single parent to a preschooler, so this program was perfect for our schedule. The IMC program also had the curriculum I wanted to further my knowledge. I was working in West Virginia at the time I started the program, so being a Mountaineer felt like the right decision as well. My peers and professors are amazing, and I have enjoyed every course.
HG: What have you learned or gained from the IMC program that you use in your daily job or everyday life?
SO: I am a public affairs specialist with the Department of Defense, so we are not marketers. We handle public relations and crisis management. This program has broadened my understanding of business practices in marketing. It's really inspired a different perspective of my work in the government.
HG: What did you learn from your time in the Military that you apply to your everyday life?
SO: The best part of my military experience will always be the people I served with. I learned to challenge myself, see any task through until the end and always find a way to leave a positive impact on those around me. It was more than achieving a goal or completing a mission. My service was about connecting with others, and I am proud to say my closest friends today are those I served with in the military.
My son is named Donovan Harper, after Army Command Sgt. Major Donovan Watts, who was killed in Iraq in 2006 and Army Sgt. Major (Ret.) Sue Harper who is retired and working as a district veteran's service officer in Arkansas. Both had a profound effect on my career, and Sue is still my best friend and greatest mentor today. CSM Watt's mother and siblings consider us part of their family, and we talk at least twice a month.
HG: How did the military help further your career goals?
SO: My service led me to my current career. I owe a great debt to all those who molded and guided me to become a better professional and person. I received a variety of training and leadership roles that prepared me for my current career and life after the Military.
HG: What does Veteran's Day mean to you?
SO: For me, Veteran's Day has special meaning as we honor those who served our country. Although I'm included in this day, my thoughts go to my friends and those who continue to serve. It's one of the few jobs you sign away your life and offer to sacrifice it if need be.
Memorial Day is to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in wartime, and so, Veteran's Day is not a somber holiday. Each service member and their families in some cases, made a conscious choice to join the military. It's not a decision made lightly, but it has been one of the best I have made in my lifetime. I'm honored and proud to be an Army Veteran and share an unbreakable bond with other Veterans.
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.