Marketing certificate + design degree = success
Graphic design major Anna Brock ’23 wanted to learn how design and marketing worked together in the real world. Since she didn’t have time to add a full marketing minor in her junior year, she opted for the digital marketing certificate from Messiah.
“From the beginning, I could tell that Anna really got it,” said Associate Professor of Marketing Keith Quesenberry. “She was connecting the dots and seeing how understanding the broader aspects of marketing would help improve her design and help her to better communicate with the marketers that she will be working with in her profession.”
He also helped her find opportunities within the marketing department.
“It was really awesome to have him show me how marketing is directly going to affect me as a designer,” she said. “He’s writing a book right now, and I’m helping him design it. It was a good connection I didn’t know I was going to make.”
Through her marketing classes and an upper-level design class called Service Center Design, Brock gained more of an understanding of what it meant to work in the design field.
Students in the Service Center Design class provided free design work for nonprofits in the area. “It was kind of a two-way street, where I was getting experience and they were getting design work. In that way, it was awesome because we got that client work and the business side of things, but a lot of the studios are more geared toward learning the craft rather than applying it in a business way,” she said.
Brock also connected with the adjunct teaching the class, Alicia Settle ‘18.
“She said that she wanted to teach this class because, as a student here, she saw a need for real-world experience, so she wanted to provide that through this class. All of the graphic designers are so thankful. It was such an amazing class,” said Brock. “You can get all of the praise in the classroom, but, once it’s coming from a client, it’s a confidence booster. It’s like, ‘Oh, I am doing the right thing, I’m in the right place.’”
Adjuncts were crucial in Brock’s ability to pursue internships and gain design experience. In the fall of her senior year, she worked as a digital design intern at JPL, a marketing agency in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, because of her connection to adjunct Mary Kintzi, a JPL creative director. At JPL, Brock designed ads and social media posts. She also worked on professional photo shoots and created simple animations for their social media.
“That internship was very affirming for my marketing classes,” she said.
Reconnecting with Settle, Brock interned for her teacher’s design company, Settlers Design Co., based in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania. Brock then accepted an offer to work there after graduation as a full-time associate design pioneer.
“I really like working for local clients. I can actually walk into a client’s business and talk with them,” she said.
A certificate provides an easy addition to many majors to make students more marketable once they graduate.
“We envisioned the digital marketing certificate as a way for our majors to get the skills and signal to employers that they have the skills that are in demand today,” said Quesenberry. “But marketing skills are valuable to many fields and professions to improve individual areas of interest and expertise.”
For Brock, the certificate combined with her degree and valuable internships set her apart from other candidates entering the workforce.
—Molly McKim ’23