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Portfolio Class in CommArts Grad Program Builds Professional Resumes, One Project at a Time  

Graduate studies

In the Communication Portfolio class, students in the M.A. in Communication program can develop unique projects in line with their career goals.

The graduate program in Communication within the College of Communication and the Arts at Seton Hall has completed the first year of its innovative Communication Portfolio class.

Foundational to all three areas of study within the M.A. in Communications graduate program, the course is designed to allow students to pick a project of interest that will serve to enhance their positions within their current employment, employment prospects within the field of their choice, or further inform their advanced studies.

Through a series of workshops, students are encouraged to examine their life and career goals and then pick a project that will help bring them closer to those goals. An example of this is Prasaadi "Dani" Dangolla, a graduate student who is currently interning with Johnson & Johnson. For her course project, she decided to create a blog on the pharmaceutical industry that also highlighted her professional credentials.

"The blog that I created bridges the gap between my experiences, interests and skills," said Dangolla. "It gave me an opportunity to take a deep dive into the pharmaceutical industry and provided a platform to showcase my knowledge. It also filled a void in my resume and gave me content to post on LinkedIn and share with potential employers in interviews. Both the experience and the response has been thoroughly positive."

Haley Zenna, a fellow student in the course, agreed, "In my professional life in corporate communication and marketing, writing proposals is an essential element of initiative development," she said. "I had never written a formal proposal before and this class gave me the opportunity to do so. I was able to create a proposal that I was proud of — and will help me grow in my professional and academic career."

The course is part of a wider emphasis within the graduate program in Communication on enhancing practical and work-related skills — essentially combining theory with practice to give students a leg up within their chosen profession.

"This course is uniquely designed to aid students in transitioning from their graduate studies to an employment opportunity or toward further study," said Assistant Professor Ruth Tsuria, Ph.D., who created the course in collaboration with Professor and Program Director Renee Robinson, Ph.D. "Students finish Communication Portfolio with experience and a work product that is directly translatable to the needs of the 21st century workforce or the pursuit of a Ph.D. The course is highly individualized. Each step in the process builds on the last, and puts into practice the skills and theory students have learned to date— by pushing the envelope."


Per Program Director Robinson, the College's signature course Communication Portfolio challenges students to find the connection between their coursework and professional work.

Director Robinson explained how the College's signature course Communication Portfolio challenges students to find the connection between their coursework and professional work. "It requires students to build artifacts that reflect their mastery of communication course concepts, theories, and practices indicative of traditional graduate studies with a twist of career and professional practice to showcase students' skills and talents," she said. "The course exemplifies one of the program outcomes which is to prepare students to solve communication problems in creative ways while engaging in reflective practices and processes."

For his project, Hunter DeSimone created a parody website spoofing the NBA a la The Onion. Tongue firmly in cheek, The Nutmeg avers that it is "The #1 source in mid-range contested journalism.

"I was recently hired as the new public relations and communications manager for Marymount Manhattan College in New York," said DeSimone. "The skills I developed while creating my portfolio project were vital during the interview process. While creating The Nutmeg, I did a lot of research on web design, content management, HTML and article development. The Communication Portfolio course put this research into practice, sharpening my experience and bolstering my self-confidence in my content creation and communications abilities.

"Additionally, a classmate of mine with experience in public relations gave me a ton of great advice about the field that helped me through each step of the interview process," he added. "I can confidently say that the skills and lessons I learned throughout this course, complemented by the peer support I received, helped me land my first job out of college."

The College of Communication and the Arts currently offers two master's-level programs. The M.A. in Communication program is designed to instill students with critical communication skills associated with human interaction and to develop essential research practices. Students can choose from three specific areas of study, Communication Technologies and Digital Communication, Communication in Organizations, and Public Relations. The M.A. in Museum Professions program is designed for individuals interested in pursuing careers in museums or related cultural institutions. The curriculum provides opportunities to study in several advanced content areas, including Education, Management, Registration and Exhibition Development.

In addition, The College offers three accelerated B.A./M.A. programs and a dual M.A. degree with the School of Diplomacy and International Relations.

Categories: Arts and Culture

For more information, please contact:

  • Lorraine Joyce
  • (973) 378-2674
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