Kelly Apfel is a member of Marist's online MA in Integrated Marketing Communication Class of 2016. She lives in the Dutchess County area and is employed by Community Based Services, Inc. as their Communications and Development Manager. She received a Bachelor's Degree in Communications, with a minor in Psychology from SUNY Purchase and is originally from Scotland.
Tell us about your work history before Marist, including years of experience, industry, companies, and positions.
I worked in many restaurants, pubs, bars, hotels at home in Scotland, which led to my interest in pursuing Hospitality Management. However, after I moved to the USA, I decided to go back to college for Psychology. During my time as a student, I did some more bartending, was a nanny and worked within the Internship Department at Rockland Community College. I also worked for a finance company in Westchester for several years as a Sales Associate, Operational Associate and then Operational Manager. Since starting the IMC program, I have been employed by Community Based Services (CBS). CBS provides residential and community support to people with disabilities. In my role, I am responsible for our new Good Reasons nonprofit department, as well as PR, Marketing, Social Media and Fundraising for GR and CBS.
What are your career goals?
I am enjoying my experience at CBS and hope to continue to see that grow. I am committed to learning more about the CBS agency and would like to remain with the nonprofit sector.
Why did you choose to pursue your degree at Marist?
I wanted to pursue Graduate school, I chose Marist for several reasons. I live in Poughkeepsie, therefore, have close access to the College. However, most importantly I have grown to love the Marist community and the beautiful campus and was very excited to become a Red Fox. Additionally, the IMC course was a perfect match for the interests I wanted to pursue in education and career. The online aspect was the final perfect piece. The flexibility to study online is really the only way I could have made it work with all my other commitments.
Tell us about a project or course that was particularly meaningful to your professional development.
All of the IMC courses have provided their own unique aspects that I am able to use in my professional role, however the Public Relations and Social Media courses lined up perfectly with my position at work. I took the PR class as we were launching Good Reasons, therefore really learned what was needed to ensure a successful launch and build longevity for the company. Additionally, the same month I was enrolled in the social media class was the same month my CEO gave me full responsibility of all social media outlets for Good Reasons and CBS. These courses have given me the confidence and knowledge to help these nonprofits grow, and have helped enhance my position with the agency.
How has a degree from Marist and your course work enhanced your career?
The IMC degree has somewhat enabled me to craft my own job role within the agency. I am fully able to use what I learn in class and put it into effect at work. Being able to study and get an education within an area I am passionate about, and then do it professionally has been a great experience.
What advice would you give to a student considering pursuing their master's degree at Marist?
Marist offers so many courses and so many flexible options that I would definitely recommend it. The only downside to the online program is that you don't get to enjoy the beautiful campus. But if you have many other life commitments then the online course is a perfect way to get a meaningful education while still being a part of the Marist community.
If you took an online class or had online learning as part of a regular course, tell us about your experiences – any tips or suggestions to pass along to future students?
The Marist online classes are fantastic. They are well structured and organized to ensure each student knows what is expected. The professors are quick to respond to emails and provide helpful feedback. The content is interesting, well thought out and involves case studies of real life situations and topics. The classes provide opportunities for interaction with classmates and forum discussion which help you get more out of the class. Most classes offer group projects which encourage that community spirit and interaction.
Profile Tags:Profile Type: Alumni
Major: Integrated Marketing Communications
Academic School: Communication and the Arts