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Testimonials

Chris Guizlo

Chris Guizlo, Media Relations and Public Relations Coordinator at Merchant Risk Council, MA '13

What made you decide to earn your degree at American University as opposed to another institution?
The real world experience that the faculty at American University brings to the table is the main reason that I decided to attend AU for my degree. I knew that my education would be given by professors who have practiced in the field of strategic communications and they would give me the tools to be an asset to any company in the world.

What do you believe makes your program of study unique?
It is an all-encompassing design. You learn every aspect of the strategic communications field so that you can take that knowledge and build a 360-degree public communications strategy for any company.

In your opinion, what do you think is your program’s biggest strength? Please explain why.
The MA in Strategic Communication program’s biggest strengths are the faculty and the focus on digital media. The faculty members bring so many diverse and amazing experiences to the table that students with any interest will find their match in a faculty mentor. The focus on digital media has made AU the spot to go for an education that integrates both traditional and digital media into strategic communications campaigns.

What is one of your most memorable moments in your program?
The camaraderie that my class had helped each other push through the program. We were competing, but we were also driven to make sure that we all succeeded.

How was the coursework and curriculum relevant to your field today? How did the faculty keep the curriculum current?
It was directly relevant and I find myself applying practical solutions that I learned during my degree program every day. The faculty was amazing at keeping the curriculum current. The expectation that students will stay informed on current events and bring those to the table as applications of the theories and practices being learned was an amazing way the faculty was able to keep things on the cutting edge.

Is there a class, project or assignment that was particularly memorable? Why?
The capstone was my most memorable project. The ability to create a professional and scientific research paper on an area of interest was the best way to put all of the skills I had learned together into a concise document.

Briefly describe in what ways the program exceeded your expectations.
The faculty went above and beyond to help us succeed. They are the reason this program is as good as it is.


What skills did you learn in the program? What were the major takeaways?
I learned how to strategically communicate the mission or goal of the organization you are working for to achieve the larger company goals.

Tamara Cabur, Head of Publications, Abu Dhabi Gas Development Company (Al Hosn Gas), MA, '10

In your opinion, what do you think is your program’s biggest strength? Please explain why.
The opportunity it offers to students to connect with potential employers. The best communication agencies in the world are located mainly in DC and NYC, and most of them are keen to recruit SOC graduates.

How would you describe your experience at American University?
My once-in-a-lifetime experience.

What is one of your most memorable moments in your program?
The academic awards ceremony. I won the award of the Best International Paper for graduate students.

Is there a class, project or assignment that was particularly memorable? Why?
Yes. The two classes I loved the most were "crisis communication" and "social media." They were extremely informative and I just loved the 15+ case studies we discussed in each class.

Briefly describe in what ways the program exceeded your expectations.
At first, all I wanted was to earn a degree for the sake of earning a degree, but after I have completed the program, the way I see/analyze things in my day-to-day life has changed, somehow. When I watch the news, listen to a speech, watch a commercial, etc. I cannot but recall what I learned in class to analyze it from a communicator's stand point.

Francesca Ernst

Francesca Ernst, Senior Account Executive, Widmeyer Communications, MA '12

What made you decide to earn your degree at American University?
Local and convenient. Referred by past graduates.


What do you believe makes your program of study unique?
AU's MA in Strategic Communication offers students guidance, support, connections and skills to launch a successful career in the field.


How would you describe your experience at American University?
Life-changing

How has earning your degree impacted your career?
Finally doing the things I want to do, the things I excel in -- things that ultimately are the pieces that lead to a fulfilling and meaningful career. Couldn't have done it without the support and guidance of my amazing professors and colleagues.


What skills did you learn in the program? What were the major takeaways?
I improved my writing skills. I learned about the media environment and how to apply social media in a professional setting. I learned the business pieces and key components of negotiation. Public-speaking skills. I developed professional confidence and built great relationships.