Sean Quinn '14/M.A. '19
Sean Quinn, a graduate of the College of Communication and the Arts, has not only successfully completed a bachelor's degree at Seton Hall, but also a Master of Arts degree. He called Seton Hall "home" for nearly 10 years as he entered the University as a third-generation legacy student in 2010 to complete a bachelor's degree in Journalism.
Upon graduating in 2014, he worked as a newspaper reporter at the West Orange Chronicle and News-Record of Maplewood and South Orange. During his three years in this position, he realized that his favorite aspect of journalism was sharing unique stories about people and getting readers invested in causes. This realization led to his interest in public relations. He sought to increase his knowledge about the profession, and decided to enroll in the M.A. in Public Relations program.
Quinn recalls his two years within the College's Graduate Studies as "truly magical." He was able to "learn from brilliant professors who brought real-world insights to the classroom after working for major companies like the NBA, Pfizer, and Panasonic." Quinn was also able to obtain internships and gain valuable job advice from the Career Center.
In addition to being a graduate student, Quinn was awarded a Graduate Assistantship within the College of Communication and the Arts. In this position, he was practiced essential public relations tasks for the College including news story writing, media relations, and social media content generation. Quinn believes that overall, the University gave him all the tools he needed to thrive in the public relations industry.
Of course, none of this was easy. Quinn compares his undergraduate experience to his graduate studies and says that he had to learn to effectively manage his time between his graduate assistantship position and his coursework. He also shares that graduate coursework requires more critical thinking as the assignments tend to be more robust and challenging. In the second year of the graduate program, students complete and present a master's project that involves original research based on each student's specialties and interests. He notes that this rigorous project makes obtaining a Master of Arts degree one of the most rewarding accomplishments. It was also during this time that Quinn was assigned as the graduate assistant for the College's Institute for Communication and Religion (ICR), which was both a challenging and valuable experience.
In his work for the ICR, Quinn assisted in projects that included producing press releases, media outreach, and event facilitation for the Institute. Some key events that Quinn provided support for including the "Religious Harmony: Community, Communication, Collaboration" with Swami Sarvapriyananda, the University's first Hindu dignitary to give a public lecture, as well as a Master Class led by renowned scholar, Heidi Campbell, on the effect of digital media on the way people engage with their faiths. His substantial work with the ICR ultimately contributed toward his current employment at Reputation Architects Inc.
Combining his extensive experience working in the "real world" and the education he received at the University, Quinn secured a position within his field of interest in less than six months after graduating. In his current role at Reputation Architects Inc., Quinn works as an account coordinator. In this role, he works on building, protecting and restoring organizational reputation. He is also a vital part of a team that conducts reputation risk analysis and provide advice to organizations on how to build communication plans. He credits his work experience with the ICR as well as the classes taught by practitioners such as Martha Whiteley to his efforts in, not only securing this position, but also thriving in this setting based on assignments he had to complete for his program and assistantship.
Reflecting on his motivations to pursue graduate studies, Quinn shared, "If you are considering pursuing a master's degree, it all depends on what is best for you. But do not let your apprehension about the workload or time commitment hold you back. Earning a graduate degree takes a lot of effort, but it is worth it in the end."
The University and College offer a limited number of assistantships for graduate students each academic year. These competitive positions vary by department and usually provide a tuition scholarship and monthly stipend.
The College of Communication and the Arts currently offers three Master's-level programs, including Museum Professions, Communication, and Public Relations. In addition, four dual-degree options, including three accelerated B.A./M.A. programs and a dual M.A. degree with the School of Diplomacy and International Relations are offered.