Randy Escamilla is a graduate of the online Strategic Public Relations program. Randy transitioned from an extensive career in TV new reporting to public relations. The prestige of the university was an early draw for him but upon enrollment he was impressed by the intensity and rigor of the curriculum. He was able to form peers not only within the United States but internationally as well.
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Randy Escamilla and I’m in the Master’s in Strategic Public Relations program. I was a TV news reporter for many, many years, so in San Antonio, Texas where I’m from I was well known in the TV industry within journalism. So I left journalism about six years ago and transitioned into public relations. So I’m in public relations now.
Why did you choose this program?
I decided to take this program because among public relations professionals, my peers, it’s well known that George Washington University has the best public relations program in the entire country. So that’s what enticed me to register. And once I became admitted it just was a huge victory.
What surprised you the most about online learning?
Probably what surprised me the most about this online experience is just the high calibre of professionalism and intensity that went into the program. There was a deep commitment into learning and it was very, very rigorous. I mean, it was more rigorous than I anticipated. I knew that by entering The George Washington University Graduate program online learning that it was going to be very difficult. There was no doubt about that. But just the intensity and the rigor that went into it, I think, only enhanced my level of education.
Level of interaction with students was amazing because I was able to interact with students in Japan, in Africa, in Germany and all throughout the United States. So I really enjoyed the entire network experience because now, as a result of my online learning experience, I know students from all over the world. And these are students that I interacted with daily.
What is your favorite course?
My favorite course in The George Washington University online Public Relations program has to be Corporate Social Responsibility. Knowing how organizations and public relations professionals are making a real difference in people’s lives really attracts me. And the level of emphasis in education that went on in the Corporate Social Responsibility program was phenomenal.
How has this program impacted your career?
I think the program has impacted my career because, number one, I know a lot more about public relations than I did before. I’m accredited in public relations but I think what The George Washington University online program did was it just really enhanced that level of education and took me to a level that I had not anticipated.
How did you find the optional, on-campus weekend?
I attended the optional career event in October and that was a good preview as to what the entire experience was like. During that event in October where I got to meet other students it really … the career opportunity in November … the career opportunity in October, I should say, allowed me to interact with students and just get a real sneak peek into the entire program. And it also allowed me to meet professors. And that was a fun experience, getting to meet professors and see them face to face is just phenomenal.
I think the top takeaways from the event in October are, number one, that I got to meet the students. You know, you interact with students and … electronically, you come to know people online but to actually put a name to a face and meet people physically and also professors is a great experience because not only are we interacting with people online but then to meet with them face to face and just get that networking experience, there’s a bond I would say that’s really created in the entire experience.
How did you balance work, family and other obligations?
How did I balance work, family and obligations while attending this online program, which was extremely rigorous. There’s no doubt that, for me, there had to be a level of dedication that went into this. There were no weekends off, there was no birthday parties to attend. It was dedicated, it was focused, it was rigorous. And I knew that for an entire year and a half that during this time I was going to maintain my focus and my commitment to fulfill what I believe is the best degree that I can have.
Well, I knew that on Mondays and Tuesdays I was going to spend at least four hours reading each day. And so that seems like a lot and it is a lot. But the takeaway for me was … well, the first part of the week was going to focus on reading. The rest of the week was going to focus on research and actually completing the projects that were due. The wonderful thing about the entire program is that there are projects which are due … you know when projects are due so there’s always a deadline to be met. And there’s … I mean, there’s a day or two where you might be able to catch your breath. But there’s tons of reading to do and it’s a lot but it’s worth it.
Any final thoughts for future students?
who might be thinking of coming into the program should be aware that it’s not going to be easy. And it’s going to take a lot of dedication and an entire amount of focus. Those … that goes without saying. But as a result of this education, as a result of this experience, among my peers it’s well known that for public relations professionals George Washington University provides the best education. And I’m leaving with the best education possible. And so that’s very fulfilling, that’s rewarding. And as I walk across the stage I know that I’m along the best, and so what more could you ask for.