Public Relations and MBA

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By Matt Van Pelt


I recently completed my Masters of Business Administration at Marist College.  Two and a half years ago when I was looking for a Master’s Degree, I looked at many options.  With my short career comprised of mostly communications work, including, but not limited to media relations, web and graphic design a career path heading to strictly communications was imminent. 


However, I chose to pursue an MBA because I wanted the business background to complement the communications I was developing.  Too often, I saw that business decisions were made without consideration of communication implications.  Many courses in my MBA focused on change management, especially in today’s dynamic business environment.  Change is undoubtedly a process many organizations are navigating currently, or is inevitably coming soon.  One the greatest barriers to change management is a lack of communication.  From the senior level to the staff level, change needs to be communicated effectively and frequently.  Without ongoing communication, the change initiative will likely fail.


If you are reading this, chances are that you are either in the communications field, or have an interest in it.  If so, you understand the value of a strong communications strategy.  The combination of an MBA with communications allows me to look at strictly business decisions through a communications scope and evaluate communications on the overall business strategy.  The two complement each other equally.


The PRSA MBA Initiative is an effort to improve the strategic communication of MBA students.  A need was identified in MBA students in their communication skills they will need as business leaders.  The initiative also places communications and reputation management in the heart of the C-suite.  With a 24-hour news cycle, countless communication channels all business decisions are at risk for destroying a business’ reputation.  Our role as communicators in business decisions will only grow in the future. 


If you are looking for graduate studies, much like I was, consider an MBA.  You may have a leg up on the MBA students who lack the skills you have already developed.

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