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Connecting the Dots

What’s really cool about MSC is the way in which material from professors and guest speakers alike always seems to fit together; everything is related and relevant, it seems. This was particularly true this past Saturday. The second half of this term in our core course, Strategy in the Global Economy, is focused on the “retail revolution,” which includes the means in which selling or making commodities available to consumers has evolved.  We discussed this in class and then listened to guest speaker and MSC alum, Dante Ciccione present his material on guidance for effective outside sales, during our lunch break. His presentation was very interesting, engaging and fun, especially when Dante put one of our classmates, Francis, to the test in a sales simulation.  Francis did an awesome on-the-spot job, selling a watch to Dante in just 3 minutes (seen in the picture below). After lunch, my elective course, Hot Topics in Marketing Strategy, focused on the interplay between Sales and Marketing.  We discussed the differences between sales and marketing teams and how there is great potential when those two groups can work together within organizations. Everything that I learned this past Saturday fit so nicely together and I loved being able to draw on material from one course when explaining or thinking about something I’ve learned in another. I  enjoyed “connecting the dots.”  This I believe, is the beauty of our program and the beauty of communications in business.

Stay tuned because my next post will be about our winter term social event next week at Lucky Strike Chicago! Post and pictures to come!

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(Dante on the left and Francis on the right).


All of a sudden, there are only three weeks left in the quarter and less than six months left in the program. Whoa. Where did the time go? The past five months have felt like such a blur — though a good blur. Making the decision to apply for grad school has turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. There’s really no price tag that you can put on a great education, especially with everything that I’ve learned so far in the MSC Program.

I was accepted into the program around this time a year ago. I still can’t believe how quickly the time has gone by and that program is almost over. There never feels as though there’s a enough time in the quarter to finish projects and the stress level has definitely risen as the days progress. But the challenge is refreshing, because despite the stress, it makes me feel as though I’m learning, growing and becoming more of the professional I aspire to be.

The Marketing Topics/Strategy course in particular, has been an incredible experience for me this quarter. Professor Kolsky definitely challenges us to think in a different perspective and I’ve noticed myself expand my range of thinking when it comes to marketing strategy. I’ve spent the past five years or so, working primarily in marketing communications, so the strategy aspect of the course has definitely given me a new profound perspective on marketing and really pushed my mindset to places I hadn’t even considered before.

There’s an unending wealth of knowledge to be absorbed here at MSC and I hope to soak in every last bit of it as we make our landmark to the halfway point of the program.

In less than 6 months until we’ll all be “masters” in communication, MSC ’14. We’ve got this!

Week 5 Has Come and Gone Again

We are already halfway through winter term! When did that happen?  Time sure is flying by! In the crazy midst of our midterm assignments due this week and next (good luck, everyone!), our cohort had a lovely opportunity to again be reminded why the MSC program is so wonderful.  During a relaxing, casual breakout session during lunch, “Working with Recruiters and Professional Staffing Firms,” we had the opportunity to hear from Jadey Ryndak from Paladin and Alicia Yamada from Kittleman. We were invited to ask questions about leveraging our MSC degrees as that relates to working with recruiters and how to prepare ourselves for entering into new positions or new fields. I left feeling very encouraged and very appreciative of the non-stop, very valuable and relevant resources MSC provides.


Leadership Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King

Leadership is not defined by a title, yet the role an individual takes on when they believe in a greater vision to make a difference. As a culmination to the legacy celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Northwestern University hosted a keynote presentation by Myrlie Evers-Williams, author and civil rights activist, who shared a story of Dr. King starting out as a young leader. She explained how elder members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an African-American civil rights organization, attempted to prevent Dr. King from having a voice in their upcoming March on Washington.

The SCLC believed Dr. King was too young, aggressive and felt he would take away their power at their first major event for civil rights, Evers-Williams explained. Members of the SCLC decided to allow Dr. King to participate by placing him last on the speaker’s roster with the thought attendees would be tired and not stick around to hear him speak. Despite their assumptions, the audience of over 200,000 people remained. It was on this day Dr. King shared his inspiring, historical “I Have a Dream” speech.  Dr. King’s supporters were committed  to him “because he was the last to speak and then it became his march,” according to Evers-Williams. It was from 1963 onward, Dr. King lead the SCLC and civil rights movement.

Everyone has the potential to be a leader in their own respect. If you have a passion and vision meshed with hope, faith and trust it will be fulfilled, then you already have the fundamental leadership tools. Whether leading a team project at work or starting a global movement  you can be a leader.




A wonderful benefit of participating in the MSC program is the stimulating, exciting and enlightening discussions had between classmates. My elective class this term, Hot Topics in Marketing Strategy, taught by Dr. Richard Kolsky, promotes this constant exchange of ideas in class but also online through our weekly discussion board. Over the course of week two, almost every day of the week, classmates shared insight and responded to one another through this platform. Not only did this constant flow of communication make the topic more fun, interesting and relevant, it provided each of us with an opportunity to get to know one another on a more personal level, as we were all responding with personal stories and experiences. In my opinion, learning from one another is one of the best ways to learn. It is really cool that we are afforded the time and resources to learn this way and I am grateful to MSC for facilitating this opportunity.



Winter Term Begins!

Winter term began this past Saturday, January 11th. It was so great to see everyone again, after a three week break. I really missed my classmates! After a quick chit-chat, it was back into the classroom for our morning course. This term, our core course is called Strategy in the Global Economy, taught by Dr. Dilip Gaonkar. What an awesome class to start off with.  We watched a video that really depicts the intricacies of our globalized world. The video is called “Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt”, by NPR.  I thought to share it here, so all of you would have an opportunity to understand this perspective and really think about how tiny we are as individuals and how huge the potential is for what can be accomplished when individuals, communities, and countries work together. It is unbelievable, how far we have come — from donkeys as transportation and clay tablets as the early means of communication, to air transport/massive shipping industry, and Internet as our current form of communication. Wow! We have only been back in class for one day and I am already eager and excited to see what’s in store for next week.  We are a brilliant species!  Cheers to an exciting, thought-provoking term.

MSC Coursework and Real World Application: MSC Alumni Success Story

Carling Spelhaug, MSC Class of 2013, has been highlighted in an IABC article talking about how she used an MSC course project to help her receive a promotion to Associate Director of Corporate Communications at Morningstar. She effectively applied the knowledge gained and the project she completed for the MSC course Visual Communication to help advance her career. See the full article here: Member Profile: Carling Spelhaug of Morningstar

Congratulations Carling!!!Spelhaug-Word-Cloud-w-Titles-1024x381


Happy New Year, everyone! 2014 is here — the year we earn our MSC degrees! Before we know it, August will be here and we will be receiving our diplomas! This is such a pleasant, happy thought to think about, especially because we are currently facing well below zero temperatures, and I can guarantee that on August 9th (graduation day), rain or shine, it will be warm and that, my friends, is wonderful. I’d like to wish everyone a year of success, happiness, strength, empowerment and love. May 2014 bring all of these things to each and every one of you. Good luck to my fellow MSC classmates as we begin winter quarter this Saturday! And of course, stay warm!