Karina Alderete is a graduate of the online Strategic Public Relations program. Karina chose the program because she felt it was a strong match for her career goals. The program has already contributed to a promotion where she currently works. She was initially concerned about enrolling in an online program and how that would compare to a traditional classroom but found that the curriculum and course instruction was highly structured and rich.
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Karina Alderete and I completed the Master’s in Strategic Public Relations. I chose a program with George Washington University after doing careful research for my master’s degree. After looking around, and comparing different programs and looking at the curriculum offered with GW, I found that this really, for me, my career goals, was the strongest program and that it would really prepare me for the next steps in my career. Currently, I am a senior brand manager for the Convention Visitors Bureau in the city of San Antonio, Texas.
Why did you choose the GW Strategic Public Relations online program?
This program has already benefited my career. I’ve recently received a promotion with my current job. And I know that as a communications professional working in the public relations field that some of those strengths that I’ve learned through this program can also be transferred to marketing and other areas within the communications field. So I feel very much prepared for anything that I want to take on related to my industry.
What surprised you the most about online learning?
What surprised me the most about online learning was how structured the program was. That was one of my biggest fears is will I have the dedication, will I have the time to focus on this if I’m not walking into a classroom setting and having to present to a professor or to other students. But that was definitely one of the things that surprised me is how structured the program was, the amount of support, the amount of materials available online but also the amount of interaction that I had with students in the program through group projects, weekly chats and discussions and also chats with the professors. I found videos that were placed online very helpful. And I didn’t miss the classroom experience because I think the online experience was very rich.
What was your favorite course in the program?
My favorite course throughout the program was definitely the capstone because I got to work with some of the students that I grew to know throughout the two years doing the online program. And that was very rewarding, working together with them, having grown throughout our experience together online. It was just great to be able to collaborate together and put all of the information, and all of the skills and all of the lessons … everything that we learned throughout the program, we were able to combine it, work together to come up with our final project. And that, for me, was definitely the most rewarding class.
Any final thoughts?
I definitely want to tell prospective students to not be afraid of embarking in an online program. I think for working professionals this is perfect. Having … working a full-time job and trying to balance life, work and school is definitely achievable through this online program. There’s a tremendous amount of support with the facilitators, with the professors and, really, among your fellow students who are all in the same situation, learning from different parts of the US, some students from other parts of the world. And that’s very exciting and it’s a very rich experience.
So I would definitely encourage them to take the leap. It’s a program that fit with my schedule working a full-time job and I would definitely recommend it to anybody … any working professional, I think, online there’s definitely a lot to learn and you’ll feel very rewarded.