IMC gave Megan Wagner the edge she needed to rise above the field
Megan Wagner is the director of corporate communications at WNED-TV Buffalo-Toronto. She joined the WNED team in December 2010 and oversees all media relations, advertising and multimedia promotion. She also works to create a brand identity and distinctive image for WNED’s broadcast and educational services.
"I truly believe that because I was enrolled in the IMC program, it gave me the edge over other candidates when I was interviewing for my new position," said Wagner. "Actually, several people in my cohort found new positions while they were enrolled in the program."
Prior to her current position, she served as the marketing and public relations manager at a local shopping center, where she guided new and existing projects in the areas of consumer promotion, print and mass media advertising, and direct marketing campaigns. She also led successful social and digital media initiatives along with serving as the media spokesperson. She channeled employee and mall merchant internal communications while managing all website content.
"I enjoyed what I actually did at the shopping center and greatly appreciate the experience I received, but it was time for a different challenge. I needed a new creative and learning outlet where I could grow my career in ways that my job couldn’t provide. After enrolling in the IMC program, the creative energy was back and I ended up landing a wonderful new position at WNED. It was awesome how everything fell into place," said Wagner.
Early in her career, she worked in various marketing and customer service capacities in the financial and retail industries. She earned dual Bachelor of Science degrees in marketing and business administration in 2004 from Indiana State University. Before graduation, she expanded her hands-on marketing and public relations knowledge in the academic sector as a student intern in the ISU Office of Communications and Marketing.
"As much as my undergraduate education at ISU laid a solid marketing/business foundation for me, my IMC master’s degree helped me build upon that foundation. It allowed me to fuse my marketing knowledge with communications principles and practices," said Wagner.
"The courses were very fun and exciting, yet challenging at the same time. I always came away learning something new. With each class I took, I came away feeling smarter and dumber at the same time: smarter, because I learned so many incredible things; dumber, because as a marketing communications professional, these were things I felt I should have known all along."
IMC Q & A with Megan Wagner
What is the best aspect of the program?
The course study was very exciting and cutting-edge, making you very passionate about learning. As a working professional, I found the weekend format very accommodating. Also, the diverse backgrounds and industries that were represented in my cohort were awesome. It was nice that you could privately talk about a challenge in your job and have an instant network of several other professionals helping you find a solution.
What advice would you give to someone considering IMC?
You can never go wrong with building your education, especially when it’s certain to get you a step closer to achieving your career goals. If the program courses excite you, go for it! Also, if you’re not happy in your job/career, change something about it. Only you have the power to do that. The IMC program is an excellent first step toward that change.
I would also advise that you build a support system of, not only members of your cohort, but your family and friends. Make sure that they know your goals for the program and understand that this is a significant (but temporary) time commitment. My external support system, which included my husband, family, friends and co-workers, were amazing. They all understood my time was very precious and wanted to help me succeed in this program. From proofreading my papers to giving me encouragement, they made all the difference in the world!
Is IMC just for one particular type of person?
Absolutely not. There are so many different educational and career backgrounds represented in each cohort. It’s just another incredible resource that’s available.