My name is Chris Fujimoto, and I’m currently enrolled in my second full semester in the IMC master’s program. My decision to attend West Virginia was an easy one to make. What I found to be difficult was planning when I would begin my journey at West Virginia. It was along that discovery process that I realized West Virginia’s IMC program was catering to my biggest need: flexibility.
When I started researching graduate programs I was looking for a program that would provide me a solid marketing base, while expanding my knowledge in different marketing and communications strategies. I was also looking for a program that would fit into my professional schedule. Most importantly, I was looking for a program that would allow me to apply the lessons from the classroom to the workplace in impactful and creative ways. After reading into West Virginia’s master’s degree in IMC, I knew they checked off all of the boxes I mentioned, and I knew it was the right fit for me.
There were, however, a few logistical problems that I needed to navigate. I knew that I wanted to take the GRE exams. West Virginia offers a GRE waiver (another point toward flexibility), but I wanted to keep options open and train my brain back into the academic mindset. Additionally, I hadn’t officially applied to the program at that point, and I felt a large sense of dread at the idea of managing both school and my professional workload. Maybe a graduate program wasn’t a realistic possibility for me at the moment? I was starting to doubt whether or not I would be making the right decision for my career by applying to the program.
It was at that point I decided to do some proactive research and planning. What I found was that starting in January of 2016 would be an easier transition for me than the fall of 2015. My professional workload would be slowing down a bit, giving me the perfect amount of time to ease in to the grad school workload. Starting in the spring also meant that I could take more time to study for the GRE exams, which gave me some practice in balancing my academic and professional workloads. The coursework that the IMC program offers is mirrored in the fall and spring, so I didn’t feel like I was behind any of my peers. When I laid all of the components out on the table, I knew that starting in the spring was the right decision for me. The structure of the IMC program helped relieve any uncertainty that had built from my initial thoughts.
For individuals who are considering the program I think the most important thing is to look at the IMC program and determine how it plays a part into your overall plan. The IMC program is built with flexibility to meet the needs of its students, and we are empowered on how we want to take advantage of what is being provided to us.
Chris Fujimoto is currently an IMC student and the marketing web administrator at Vanguard Charitable in Philadelphia.