Knowing the language and tools of media analytics will allow students to better understand their potential audiences. She explains, “If you want to know more about audiences, millennials, how men and women differ, the Golden Agers… this is a great class.”

This class is not just for beginners, however. Learning analytics can enhance any set of communication skills by helping the student to deliver their message to the correct audiences and helping the student to analyze the effectiveness of their message. For example, Dr. Thorson says, a student with experience in branding would be able to “figure out much more sophisticated ways to get the personality of the brand out there” with media analytics.

Read the entire story and follow Dr. Esther Thorson 

Stephanie Van Doorn-Kazyak became a professional communicator thanks to an unexpected part as a movie extra.

“It was the summer after my third year in college, I needed to figure out what I needed to do with my life and career,” said Van Doorn-Kazyak. “That summer there was a movie being filmed in my hometown with Barry Sanders and Kurt Russel.”

Stephanie had the opportunity to step into the movie and get a sense of how movies were made. This window into content creation inspired her to study communications. Already a student at Michigan State University, Stephanie joined the College of Communication Arts & Sciences as a communication major and never looked back.

Read Stephanie’s Story and follow Stephanie @svandoorn88

I am familiar with college anxiety–I still occasionally have nightmares that I forgot my schedule, started picking classes late, went to the wrong classroom, forgot there was a test… you know what I mean! I realize that many of our students feel nervous about starting a new college program, but I can reassure them that their instructors and classmates will make sure their experiences in the Strategic Communication MA program never feel like those bad dreams.

In the end, the fact that we are not all physically together doesn’t stop us from learning a lot and having a fun time doing it. Community-building in virtual spaces can be just as fun, reassuring, and helpful as an in-person experience. And since our virtual communities include animated GIFs… they might even better than in-person!

Read the entire story from Valeta Wensloff and follow Valeta @digimae