SC&I graduate student Robert Obiefuna worked with a leading financial corporation in Nigeria, where he became a marketing team lead. While serving in this leadership role, he led his team to achieve their organizational market target by signing top business moguls in Nigeria, ultimately growing the branch profits by 15% and earning promotions for all team members. As a firm believer in the notion that education can unlock opportunities for success and self-development, Obiefuna made a thoughtful decision to relocate to the United States in pursuit of his Master of Communication and Media (MCM) degree, focusing on Strategic Organizational and Leadership Communication. He is currently employed as an instructional assistant at SC&I.
Through his education and leadership experience, Obiefuna is committed to providing tools and resources for financial literacy in underserved communities. He is also dedicated to rebranding the corporate world and financial industry towards being more ethically grounded by practicing Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DEI), upholding social responsibility goals (CSR), and maintaining environmental, social, and governance practices (ESG). He shared his unique perspective with us.
SC&I: What factors led you to choose the MCM program?
RO: After gaining three years of experience in the financial sector as a financial advisor, relationship manager, and marketer in a multicultural society, I realized the importance of pursuing an advanced degree. Considering the evolving digital landscape and the transformation of communication methods, I sought a degree that would complement my background and provide me with the necessary skills. Given the world's increasing reliance on digital platforms and the need for effective communication, I sought out a graduate program that offers a tailored approach to meet the requirements of communicating organizational goals, objectives, and mission to the community digitally. SC&I’s MCM program encompasses a wide range of communication strategies and ensures ethical practices are upheld. As I complete the program, I aim to expand my knowledge and expertise in leveraging digital platforms to effectively communicate with diverse audiences. I recognize the significance of conveying organizational messages transparently and compellingly while also embracing the digital revolution in communication. I am gaining the necessary skills to ethically engage with the community, digitally cover a broad spectrum, and align organizational objectives with strategic communication practices.
SC&I: What are the highlights of your MCM experience so far?
RO: As an international student, my experience in the MCM program has been a continuous journey of exploration and discovery. Two standout experiences have profoundly impacted my academic and professional growth. Firstly, I had the privilege of assisting two exceptional professors throughout the semester, Teaching Professor Nikolaos Linardopoulos and Associate Professor of Communication Kristina Scharp. It’s truly inspiring to witness their steadfast support and enthusiasm in ensuring students receive a well-rounded education and impactful learning experiences.
Creating my professional e-portfolio page was a significant milestone in my MCM journey. The concept of having a dedicated professional page never crossed my mind before. This endeavor showcased my academic accomplishments and served as a platform to demonstrate my skills, projects, and aspirations to potential employers or collaborators. It allowed me to present my capabilities in a professional and accessible manner, expanding my opportunities and connections within the field.
These experiences have fostered my personal and professional growth, showcasing the transformative power of the MCM program. They have reinforced the importance of embracing new opportunities, stepping out of my comfort zones, and continually seeking avenues for self-improvement and advancement.
SC&I: How would you describe the e-portfolio creation process?
RO: The e-portfolio course, led by Ildiko Koczan, Assistant Director of Student Services for Career Services, inspired me. Koczan’s expertise and guidance were invaluable, and I cannot overstate her impact on the portfolio development process. Under her tutelage, I gained a comprehensive understanding of the significance of a portfolio and its pivotal role in showcasing my skills and abilities as a communication specialist. Engaging with Koczan and participating in her course awakened a profound realization of the importance of a portfolio in demonstrating my readiness for a successful career in the communications field. Her unwavering support and direction fostered my confidence and equipped me with the necessary knowledge and tools to present my capabilities, achievements, and professional aspirations.
SC&I: How well is the MCM program meeting your expectations?
RO: The MCM program has surpassed my initial expectations. To a layperson, communication often extends no further than conversation. However, the MCM program encompasses seven distinct specializations. I chose to concentrate on strategic organizational and leadership communication and am acquiring the essential skills to facilitate and enhance internal and external corporate communication. I can confidently assert that I have witnessed notable improvements and significant personal growth throughout my journey in the program.
SC&I: What are your career goals after earning the MCM?
RO: I have ambitious aspirations for my future career, and my mind is filled with numerous possibilities. I aspire to venture into the dynamic realm of business and the corporate world, targeting roles such as corporate communications specialist, financial advisor, relationship manager, media relations manager, publicist, public relations consultant, or marketing officer. These positions align with my passion for effective communication, strategic planning, and making a positive impact within organizations.
SC&I: What advice do you have for someone entering the MCM program?
RO: Rutgers School of Communication and Information is ideal for your academic journey. Take full advantage of the abundant resources available, including experienced professors whose knowledge and expertise propel you toward excellence. Embrace the opportunity to flourish under their guidance.
As you navigate your educational path, remember to embody the spirit of the Scarlet Knight, carrying the flag of Rutgers University wherever you go. Let the fervor of RU-RAH-RAH resonate within you, symbolizing your dedication and commitment to achieving greatness in all your endeavors.