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  • Writer's pictureVanessa Matthew

Alumni Feature: An Inside Look at Marketing Communications Careers

Marketing communication is an extremely diverse industry, encompassing all aspects of branding, promotions and relationship building. For those entering the job market, searching for a new opportunity or simply trying to understand where a marketing communications degree can take them in their career, it can be difficult to understand what a day in the life of the overwhelming number of career options looks like.

The WVU Marketing Communications network has students, alumni, faculty and professionals working in all aspects of the industry across a variety of specialities. Three WVU Marketing Communications alumni share a look in to their career and tips for those interested in pursuing similar opportunities.


Vanessa Matthew

Founder and CEO, VCM Strategies

Exciting Milestones

  • Featured speaker for the Harlem Community Development Corporation entrepreneurial education series

  • Featured speaker for the Small Business Services entrepreneurial education series

  • Featured speaker for the FastTrac® NewVenture™ for the Female Entrepreneur Bootcamp

  • Featured speaker for Start Small Think Big

  • June 2020 Member Spotlight for the National Association of Women Business Owners

  • 2020 Marketing Committee Member for the National Association of Women Business Owners

  • Acquired NYC MWBE Certification

  • Secure 20 business clients in less than two years

2. What does a day in your professional life look like?

I work from home as a brand strategist and marketing consultant, and every day is different. But I try to focus on my health and wellness at the start of every day. This is extremely important for any entrepreneur. After I take care of myself, I focus on how I can be of service to others.

I prepare by creating a to-do list focused on three priority tasks. Having three priorities means that despite what happens during the day, I aim to achieve those three tasks.

Tasks can range from networking with others to secure new business to working one-on-one with clients to create their brand strategy or website. Sometimes, I only get one thing done on my list, especially if I have a day jam-packed with meetings. But not all meetings are with clients.

As a growing business, some meetings are to network with others, because who you know, as a consultant, is just as important as what you do.

3. What is your favorite part of your current career?

What I like most about being a consultant is bringing joy to the lives of others. When business owners or nonprofits work with me, they have big visions for their company or organization, and I can help them move steps closer to the growth they foresee for their business or nonprofit.

4. How can those interested in starting this own consultancy/agency begin their journey?

For those interested in owning a consultancy, you must know your subject matter well. You must be a life-long learner. In my case, I must know marketing and the marketing process intimately because clients are looking for a roadmap, and you must be clear about yours.

As for what you need to know to build a consultancy, three books changed my approach to running one:

  1. Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port

  2. The One Thing by Gary Keller

  3. The Insider’s Guide to Building a Successful Consulting Practice by Bruce Katcher

For those in grad school, be sure to take a course or two on entrepreneurship. However, nothing will prepare you for the real ups and downs of entrepreneurship. No matter how long or hard you think it will be to grow your business, it will be longer and harder.

But being a marketing consultancy owner will be the most educational marketing experience of your life. You will experience lots of personal growth as well. It is a transformative experience.

5. Did the Marketing Communications Graduate Programs help you in your journey?

West Virginia University’s IMC program helped me with my journey. My class on entrepreneurship gave me the confidence to become an entrepreneur. However, my capstone project, with David Marold, summed up the framework for how to best create marketing plans and campaigns for clients.

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Spirituality: A deep-seated belief in spiritual growth, mindfulness, and connection to something greater.

Personal/Self-Development: A focus on personal growth.

Empowerment: A passion for empowering others.

Creativity: A love for creative expression.

Holistic Well-Being: A focus on overall health and harmony.

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