2011 Graduate | Vice President of Corporate Communications, Eaton
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DIFFERENT SOURCES FOR STRATEGIC INSIGHTS
As you might expect from a PR pro, Gary Klassen is a people person. He has two pieces of advice for colleagues. The first is to
comprehensively research the business you’re serving and deduce how your work contributes to its overarching mission. The second
is to be just as well-rounded in acquiring specialized skills to reach your highest level of performance.
For the former insight, he has his vast experience in corporate PR to thank. To pursue the latter, he turned to the George Washington University.
THE ALLURE OF IMMEDIATE GROWTH
Due to the online format, Gary’s studies also functioned as an active sounding board for changes he wanted to make in his current work.
This led to immediate performance improvement, which impressed his employers.
“What I liked about the program is that as I got into it, I could apply projects in my classes to work experiences,” Gary said. “I could get
input on things. I would be able to use the disciplines that I was learning about and tie it directly to some of the things I was doing
every day in my job or use it to implement techniques that my company was interested in.”
DEVELOP A STRONGER STORY WITH A PR MASTER’S DEGREE
Gary has never been the type to stop when a barrier loomed. He knew he wanted to be a writer, but he found his desired journalism career stunted by lack of advancement opportunity. That’s why he switched gears to pursue a career in public relations.
Now he serves as Vice President of Corporate Communications for a multinational company after 30 years growing in the field. “I saw more of a chance in public relations to continue to write, but also to interact with a range of employers at different levels, contribute to each
organization and grow my career,” Gary said.
EXPANDING SKILLS AND ADDING VALUE
The common thread that runs through Gary’s widespanning communications career is growth. Initially, that meant having foresight to choose a fulfilling career. Now, it means adding depth to expand his skills and increase his value as a PR expert.
“I think the program overall provided an additional level of confidence and support for me that helped me approach the range of areas in public relations that I work in,” Gary said. “From advancing and protecting my company’s reputation to improving our internal government agencies and working in social media, the degree really helped me reinforce the knowledge I have and enhance the insights I can provide.”
“I looked at the range of classes for the Master’s in Strategic Public Relations online program, and they covered everything, including strategic marketing, public opinion polling, issues management and corporate social responsibility.” – Gary Klasen