Alumni Spotlight: Susan Parsons (PRAD '12)

On What Drew Susan to the MA Public Relations and Advertising Program

After studying journalism for four years in undergrad, I realized it wasn't a perfect fit for me and decided that I would enjoy being on the "other side" of the industry: public relations. I wanted to get an education in the field to back me up as I looked for jobs so I could balance theory and practice as I pursued my career. I desired to return to Chicago and figured that it would be beneficial for me to pursue my graduate degree in the same city where I wanted to create a professional network and career. In looking at all of the programs in Chicago, DePaul was the only one that offered me exactly what I was looking for and matched my values of knowledge, education and experience. The extensive course list, class times, areas of study and esteemed faculty drew me in. 

On Stand-Out Courses and Professors

I loved the collaborative environment of my classroom experiences. I was able to learn from both my professors and my classmates. I felt as though I absorbed the knowledge of 18 other brains in addition to the one leading the course. It was an amazing, challenging and rewarding experience each time I walked into (and out of) a class.

Jim Motzer's Crisis Communication course is one of my all-time favorite courses from all my years of education. It was fascinating and taught me so much about the subject at hand. I wish all of my colleagues could take this course; it was that interesting and helpful. Ron Culp's Leadership in Public Relations course is also how I, in a roundabout way, found my dream career. I owe a lot to both of those classes and professors. 

On Career Preparation through the Public Relations and Advertising Program

The program expanded my horizons immensely. The contacts I made while in this program opened doors to professional relationships and opportunities I never would have even dreamed of before. I felt better equipped to pursue my dream job and finally had a way to connect to it. It gave me the education I needed to balance my experience. I now have a theoretical background to balance what I learn on the job.

On How the Public Relations and Advertising Program Has Made Susan a Better Communicator

It taught me a lot of lessons that apply to every day life in addition to my industry. The program helped me learn what transforms a good communicator into a great one and pushed me to become the best I could be in what I was doing. My professors helped me learn theories and practices that not only apply to my profession, but also basic skills that every communicator should have. 

Advice for Students Considering the Public Relations and Advertising Program

This program is a challenging and fun educational experience that will provide you with the knowledge you need to forge a path in the public relations and/or advertising industry. It allows for self-discovery while proving that learning never stops. It's a network, support system and degree that combine to create an ideal background for anyone looking to pursue a career in this industry. It's exciting; it's collaborative. It's filled with individuals that want to help you succeed. Everyone from the staff and faculty to classmates look to create opportunities for success for each student enrolled. It's an opportunity disguised as an education.

When looking at grad schools, you can't get better than DePaul. It has a great location, great professors and great courses. DePaul sets you up for success. The course schedule allows students to work full or part time while they're in the program so everyone can graduate with a perfect balance of experience and education. 

What Makes Chicago a Special City to You?

Great professional networking opportunities, unbeatable entertainment choices (shows, sporting events, festivals, etc.), and food, food, food! There are so many delicious places to eat. You can study while eating the best slice of pizza of your life.