MSU professor steers AD+PR students toward advanced degree for maximal career success
By: Reece Banks
Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences has a program that allows students to receive a master’s degree in 21 credits or less. This “Linked Program” gives undergraduates a chance to earn two degrees in a shortened timeframe.
Co-leading the AD+PR Linked Master’s Program is graduate director, Dr. Anastasia Kononova, an associate professor in the Department of Advertising + Public Relations. Kononova manages admissions to the master’s program alongside academic program coordinator, Joni Tucker. In her role as graduate director, Kononova assists students in choosing the correct path – professional track or research track – answering questions helping them with their master’s thesis.
“There are very practical reasons for taking part in the Linked Master’s Program. When you have a master’s, you are more likely to get a higher-ranking job that pays more. People with a master’s degree have a lower unemployment rate and a higher salary. It also doesn’t take two years to complete a master’s if you get it through the Linked Program; you can apply three 400-level courses to your master’s and finish in 15 months or less,” said Kononova.
There are over 250 graduate programs at MSU with half of them being a fast-tracked master’s degree. Along with many of the practical reasons for being a part of the Linked Program, there are conceptual benefits, as well.
“This program allows you to become more of an intellectual when it comes to AD+PR issues. You will go in depth into your learning experiences. You will read some very complex articles, learn about theories, and apply those theories to real-life situations. You will also analyze statistics of data,” said Kononova.
The Linked Program allows students to be trailblazers in the industry, straight out of college. Kononova says most master’s students graduate with remarkable skills including critical and theoretical thinking, practical problem applications, data analysis and strategy, methods of research, and ethical thinking for social and environmental justice.
“You never stop learning, but when you become a practitioner, you don’t have that much time to learn on the go,” said Kononova. “Where else would you have time to learn applicable, real-life, skills besides our Linked Program?”
Students can apply to the Linked Master’s Program here, following the five-step process. Applications must be complete an entire semester prior to the intended semester of planned attendance.