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MCM Alum Ashley Gallagher ’21 Lets New Skills Shine at Showtime Networks
The digital media specialization boosted her knowledge, skills, and leadership abilities.

Ashley Gallagher completed the Master of Communication and Media program in December 2021, specializing in digital media. Currently a post-production coordinator for Showtime Networks Inc., she is busy putting her newly learned skills to work. “Because my job involves editing commercial content and working with different departments, the digital media specialization helped me better understand footage effects I can use and communication styles that are present in a corporate setting.”

Ashley is excited about her future. “The MCM showed me the many branches involved in the communication field. I’m confident that I can take the lectures and readings and use them for what want to do next in my career. I would like to be involved in leading a production team or work as a writer-producer.”

 SC&I: What led you to pursue the MCM degree?

AG: After I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in media production from William Paterson University in 2016, I thought about getting a master’s degree but wanted to start my career path first. Then, in the summer of 2020, the pandemic gave me some leeway in my usually busy schedule. I started with a Google search for master’s programs in my area. I discovered that Rutgers had an MCM program with many specializations, which solidified my desire to further my education. I thought that the program would help me prepare myself to pursue future career opportunities. The courses were all online, so they fit around my schedule. This allowed me to select engaging electives and explore topics that would help me in the real world. I took winter and summer courses to complete the program as soon as possible, and the professors made that possible by making the workload manageable and providing help as needed. I hope to utilize all I learned in my communication and digital media-related courses and find a higher rank position in my workplace. Overall, the MCM program provided me with the necessary skills that I was lacking and greatly expanded my knowledge base.

 SC&I: How did the digital media specialization enhance your education?

AG: Various specializations piqued my interest; however, I knew digital media would work best. The courses involved digital production, where people can be creative and work with different editing programs. They also introduced me to communication styles present in a corporate setting. Taking leadership and organizational courses helped me better understand how I can be a leader who listens to others and is heard. This, in turn, will help me within my team so that we can work together smoothly and efficiently. 

 SC&I: What courses and instructors had the most impact on you?

AG: Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in Journalism and Media Studies Neal Bennett taught me about the work involved in being a producer and showed me other creative roles that are useful for the production path I am trying to explore. I had four courses with Teaching Professor and MCM Program Director Richard Dool involving negotiation, persuasion and advocacy, agile leadership, and social impact. Now I know a whole new set of terms and can assess what companies provide an agile environment where employees are prioritized and given a say in working as a team and as leaders. Part-time lecturer Albert Widman, who holds a doctorate in management and finance, was so helpful in guiding my capstone project research in which I focused on digital harassment against prominent women.

 SCI&I: What advice do you have for anyone pursuing the MCM degree? 

AG: The advice that helped me is never to give up, and that’s what I’d tell any person thinking about the degree program. There were moments where I completely doubted my abilities and thought I would fail a semester; however, I never gave up. I was persistent in trying to do the best I could for each assignment and proving to myself that I could make it, and here I am, having completed the program with a 4.0 GPA. So, even when you feel discouraged, take things one at a time, continue to work hard, have confidence, and don’t give up. The MCM program is not easy, but the professors are always there to help their students, and completing the coursework and graduating is so worth it.


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