Alumni Spotlight: Shameah Abraham
How did you come to choose the specialized Master’s in Integrated Marketing Communications for your graduate education, and why Eastern Michigan University?
I chose the Master’s in Integrated Marketing Communications for my graduate education after researching graduate programs that I felt would help grow my marketing skills and advance my career. The top results always included the IMC program at Eastern Michigan University. I did more research on the program, the faculty and EMU. I soon realized the program at EMU was the best fit for me. I loved the flexibility of the program; the faculty were all well respected and very knowledgeable in their fields. Plus, EMU’s business school is accredited and always highly ranked as one of the best. This all made my decision very easy.
Assuming you were working full time during the two years you were enrolled in the IMC program; can you share your strategies for successful work-life-school balance?
I worked full-time during my two years in the IMC program as a Marketing Communications Specialist for McKesson, a healthcare and pharmaceutical company, at the time. It was very demanding of my time and often required me to travel for several days or weeks at a time. A large part of my job required me to act as a project manager. So, I used those same project management skills to create a great work-life-school balance. I planned, prioritized, and organized my days as far in advance as possible. I also learned how to maximize my time and got creative with when and where I studied. When I was traveling for work, I would study or read assignments on the plane or in the airport. I made sure I marked important dates, like birthdays or baby showers on my calendar so I wouldn’t miss out on important family/friend moments. Having a good balance for all three made a huge difference in my success in the program.
I also had an amazing support system in my family, friends, and work family. They always kept me encouraged and offered help however they could. I remember my manager at the time even helping me with an assignment in a hotel lobby because she wanted me to do well – and I did! Having that kind of support was priceless and helped me do well in the program.
What are you doing professionally these days?
Currently, I am a Marketing Automation Manager at MISUMI USA, where I manage all aspects of our marketing automation program. This includes the development of our Marketo campaigns, reporting activities and integrations with other marketing technologies. I oversee the integration between Marketo and our Customer Relationship Management system, Microsoft Dynamics, and our Drift chat platform. I was also recognized by Adobe/Marketo as a Marketo Fearless 50 Marketer for managing the migration of our Marketo instance and integration with our CRM.
In what respects have you been able to apply what you learned in the IMC program, to your work?
I have been able to apply all aspects of the IMC program to my work. I took on a new role right before I started the program, and the timing could not have been better. I was able to use the information I was learning in my classes and apply it to work. The entire concept of integrating marketing communications helped me to design successful marketing campaigns that had consistent messaging and branding across all communication channels. I still use the tools I learned in the IMC program in my work today.
Do you have any advice for anyone considering the EMU IMC program?
My advice to anyone considering the EMU IMC program is to make sure you are prepared for the work and commitment it requires for you to succeed. The program can be demanding and requires a lot of your time. The IMC professors and your peers expect you to bring your best to each course and discussion. This program will challenge you at times and you’ll have to put in extra effort to do well, but don’t be afraid of the difficult times or the work. The sense of accomplishment you will feel on the other side of those challenging times is so rewarding that it makes it worthwhile.
Even now, knowing how hard the program can be, if I had a chance to change my decision about pursuing the program, I wouldn’t. I’d still pursue it because I love marketing and it sharpened my skills, broadened my knowledge of marketing, made me think more strategically, bolstered my confidence, and introduced me to some incredibly talented people.