Alumni Spotlight: Tracey Shavers, Jr.
Tracey Shavers, Jr.
It’s been two years since Tracey Shavers, Jr. graduated with her Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Eastern Michigan University. “I’d heard about the IMC program from a colleague in the PR industry. She was a high-level executive at a global firm and after speaking with her about the program I looked into it. A key differentiator for me was the ability to complete the program online, but with an educational institution that was reputable but not far away should I need assistance."
Like many EMU students, Tracey worked full time while pursuing her Master’s degree. And yet did well enough to be invited to membership in Beta Gamma Sigma, the honor society recognizing the top students in AACSB-accredited business schools. Asked about her strategies for maintaining successful work-life school balance, Tracey responded, “The best advice I can give someone working full-time and undergoing an intensive program is to establish a study/work schedule and stick to it. I approached the program almost like a part-time job. I established a work schedule everyday including what milestones needed to be reached before I could log-off for the day.”
Although in an online program that did not require her to come to campus, Tracey lived within driving distance to EMU and was therefore able to take advantage of some of the COB’s co-curricular activities. She attended events such as a networking reception for graduate students with alumni, and then the COB’s Honors Banquet and aforementioned Beta Gamma Sigma induction ceremony. Tracey’s advice to other online students who live locally is, “If you can, try to participate in on-campus activities. Find your ‘person’ on the administrative staff and stay in touch with them through the duration of your program. They help connect you with the appropriate resources and advice when unanticipated bumps come along. [IMC Advisor] Michelle Henry was an awesome asset and point of contact to better understand requirements and specific deadlines to reach graduation.”
After graduating from the IMC program, Tracey spent a year-and-a-half as an account supervisor for Weber Shandwick, a public relations firm. In June 2018 she was named director of marketing and communications for the American Center for Mobility, one of Michigan’s largest automated and connected test facilities. “While my primary background is in PR [bachelor’s degree in PR from a competitor university] the IMC program helped me to better understand and develop strategies to implement integrated programs that touch on various media and digital avenues.”
What would Tracey say to anyone considering the EMU IMC program? “The IMC program was a great investment, I’ve gained excellent experience and have expanded my professional network greatly.”