#SAUOnline Graduate Spotlight: Vanessa Denha Garmo, MCOM

Vanessa, Master of Arts in Communication Graduate, SAU Online

Name: Vanessa Denha Garmo
Job Title: Founder of Denha Media Group
Program: Master of Arts in Communication

What inspired you to attend Spring Arbor University Online?

I was a full-time working mom with a toddler at the time, and I needed a program that would fit my lifestyle. However, I was going to choose and accredited and reputable University. I did my research and chose SAU.

What excited you most about your online degree program?

That it could work around my busy schedule.

How has earning your degree helped you accomplish your professional and personal goals?

I look at communications differently today when working with my clients and beyond the media perspective that I did prior. I also evaluate a client’s internal communication practices, which I never did before the degree. I plan on utilizing my master’s degree to elevate my speaking platform as a communications strategist. I see myself more as a strategist today than a media relations person.

What was the experience of studying online like for you?

I appreciated studying on my own time. It was at first challenging to get used to, but it soon became routine and enjoyable.

Did you feel supported by fellow students and SAU Online instructors?

Yes. I worked on projects with classmates and often chatted on the phone about assignments. Professors were always receptive and welcoming. They were helpful and guided me through the process, especially when it came to my actual Master’s thesis. I am grateful for Professor Woods who helped me tremendously. I also made friends with whom I am still in contact today.

How did you balance work, life and grad school?

I have always been effective at time management. Having been a reporter for years, I understood deadlines and knew how to manage my workload to meet those deadlines. I studied and worked when my daughter was sleeping and when my husband was working. It was and will always continue to be important for me to reserve Sunday as family day.

What advice do you have for people considering this degree program?

I believe everyone should always do their research first. Talk to graduates. Talk to professors. Read up on the classes and curriculum. I knew I was in the right program when I read the books required for the classes. They were all written by reputable professors and experts in the field.

What would you like people who are considering this program to know?

It will take commitment on the part of the student. You will need to be able to manage your time wisely and be responsible for meeting deadlines.