#ABetterU: Meet Drexel Online MS in Communications Graduate Marissa Anderson
Marissa Anderson came into the field of communication with a passion for learning the inner-workings of television—a curiosity spurred by her having the unique opportunity to star in the 1990s children’s game show “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?”
“I have always been interested in the television field,” said Anderson. “It was a really exciting experience to be able to see the behind the scenes production of a television studio and to be featured on a nationally broadcast television show!”
It was with that passion in mind that Anderson chose to major in communications when she began her undergraduate studies. But upon earning her bachelor’s degree and beginning her job search, Anderson quickly learned just how difficult it can be to stand out in a crowd of qualified applicants.
“I had been job searching with just my bachelor’s degree, and it really wasn’t making me competitive enough,” said Anderson. “I needed the opportunity to sharpen my skillset and the flexibility to pursue an advanced degree while working in a full-time job.”
A bit leery about pursuing a degree online, but determined to further her education; Anderson began researching a number of schools and online programs, paying particular attention to degree requirements, curriculum and flexibility as important factors.
Ultimately, Anderson said it was the reputation of the institution and positive recommendations from friends that persuaded her to enroll in Drexel University’s online Master of Science in Communication program.
As a student in the program, Anderson said she completed assignments that helped strengthen her public relations writing skills and master the essentials of developing strategies for internal and external communications. She also completed a professional portfolio that included a press kit, newsletter, backgrounder and press release; all materials that she was later able to use as samples of her work during her job search.
Graduating from Drexel University in 2014 was bittersweet for Anderson. Her experience made her hungry to stay and learn even more about her craft, but she was also proud of what she’d accomplished, being the first child in her family to graduate with an advanced degree.
“I wish the program wasn’t over because I enjoyed it so much. My Drexel experience has motivated me to pursue additional educational opportunities,” Anderson said. “My proudest moment was walking at the graduation ceremony and accepting my diploma in front of my friends and family. My mother was so happy. She has always been my biggest supporter, and it meant so much to be able to share that moment with her.”
Shortly after graduating from the online program, Anderson says more employers began taking notice of her as a viable candidate for employment.
“I felt my master’s degree helped me stand out as a more highly qualified candidate. I received callbacks for more positions, and it enabled me to be far more selective for the opportunities that I wanted,” Anderson said.
She is now applying her life-long passion for communications and protecting the nation’s natural resources in her role as a lead communications specialist for the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C.
“I am very happy with where I am. My career goal has always been to work for an organization that contributes to preserving wildlife and the environment. Drexel provided me with the background and education I needed to work in this position. I have honestly found that I use the skills acquired through Drexel every day in my career.
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