Denison Grads in Grad School: MS in Digital Marketing

Ashmita Das

Denison Graduation Year:  Class of 2018
Denison Major(s):  English Literature & Communication
Graduate Degree Type:  MS in Digital Marketing from Dublin City University, Class of 2019
Contact Me:  das_a3@denison.edu


Describe the process you went through while selecting your graduate school and career pathway: what impacted your decision?

I wanted to move back to Europe for my masters. I narrowed down the country with the course I wanted to do. Ireland is the only country in Europe with a masters degree in digital marketing. As for the school I picked, I looked into rankings, where the alumni were working and the number and reputation of the accreditation’s that the business school had.

What challenges did you face on the way to or during graduate school, and how did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge I faced in graduate school was combating imposter syndrome. I knew nothing about marketing, web development or data analytics. I kept thinking that I didn’t really belong in the course and struggled with changing the way I studied, or even the way I write my papers. The only way I could overcome it was to face all of the challenges head on. I got a lot of help from my classmates in navigating all of the subjects and spent more time than I had ever spent just doing assignments and keeping up with my work. Since my degree was only a year, I realized that I just had to put my life on hold and give my 110% in finishing my degree.

What was your favorite part of your graduate school experience?

My favorite part has definitely been the people I’ve met through not only the course, but also just by virtue of living in a new country. I have honestly been taken aback by how close I’ve become with my classmates in just a few months and how willing everyone has been to help so that everyone succeeds. The environment of healthy competition and support has definitely been a pleasant surprise.

What are your professional plans post-graduation?

I plan to stay on in Dublin, Ireland for the next year or so and work as a Digital Marketing Executive.

What advice would you give a current Denison student considering a graduate program like yours?

Definitely do a lot of research on the college. Specially when moving countries. I spent a lot of time in picking the university I did. Don’t just go by a big name. Also, I would definitely recommend reaching out to alumni and asking for advice and experiences. Figure out if that’s the kind of experience you’re looking for. I’ve learned that the same course in different colleges, just in Dublin, offer vastly different experiences and different strengths and weaknesses.

Denison Grads in Grad School: PhD in Computer Science

Will Brackenbury

Denison Graduation Year:  Class of 2015
Denison Major(s):  Theatre & Economics
Graduate Degree Type:  PhD in Computer Science from University of Chicago, Class of 2022
Contact Me:  will.brackenbury1@gmail.com


Describe the process you went through while selecting your graduate school and career pathway: what impacted your decision?

I had been working as a consultant for a year and a half at the time. I was enjoying what I was doing, but as I looked ahead to the next steps in my career, I realized that the aspects of the job I enjoyed–data analysis, programming, and writing database queries–would diminish to almost nothing. I realized that attending graduate school in Computer Science would allow me to continue doing all these things, and in fact, would increase their importance in whatever job I would hold in the future.

What challenges did you face on the way to or during graduate school, and how did you overcome them?

The first year was especially challenging. Because I had been a Computer Science minor, and not a Computer Science major at Denison, I was comparatively behind my peers in terms of subject matter knowledge. Additionally, the first year was when course requirements were most demanding. I had little time to devote to the aspects of the graduate school experience I enjoyed most (research, attending seminars), and this was very draining. However, I had built a community among my fellow PhD students, and by leaning on each other, we helped motivate each other to make it through the most difficult times.

What has been your favorite part of your graduate school experience so far?

I absolutely love the subject matter, and because of this, the job of being a PhD student is the best I can imagine. The incredible freedom to mold my own working and learning experience is easily my favorite aspect of graduate school.

What are your professional plans post-graduation?

I plan to work in a research lab in industry after graduation.

What advice would you give a current Denison student considering a graduate program like yours?

If you’re able, get involved in research as an undergraduate. I was lucky enough to have had the chance to participate in summer research at Denison, and the publication resulting from that experience was a major differentiator in my application.

Denison Grads in Grad School: MBA

Amanda Adornato

Denison Graduation Year:  Class of 2018
Denison Major:  Economics
Graduate Degree Type:  Master of Business Administration (MBA) from John Carroll University Boler College of Business, Class of 2019
Contact Me:  amanda.adornato@gmail.com


Describe the process you went through while selecting your graduate school and career pathway: what impacted your decision?

I knew after I graduated from Denison, I wanted to go straight to graduate school and receive my MBA. I applied to about 5-6 MBA programs ranging from the Midwest to the East Coast. I looked at schools that were small to medium sized, had a strong alumni network, strong reputation, as well as programs that had an internship/working experience component. I chose John Carroll University because they had an accelerated Full-Time MBA program of 16 months instead of 2 years and an internship component. That was very enticing to me as well as their strong alumni network and career placement.

What challenges did you face on the way to or during graduate school, and how did you overcome them?

The main challenge I face is limited work experience. While in undergrad, I did obtain two internships at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management as well as an externship, which was a good foundation going into the program with limited work experience. However, it was challenging at times to connect topics and concepts to work experiences when I was just fresh out of undergrad. But having many business professionals in my classes helped me overcome this hindrance through learning from their shared experiences and discussions in class and working with them on group projects and class assignments. The internship component also increased my exposure and experience to real work life matters. I am able to experience, see, and connect what I am learning in the classroom. Hands on learning is the best kind of learning!

What is your favorite part of your graduate school experience?

My favorite part of graduate school are the professors! They bring so much experience and knowledge into the classroom. They have a vast network that you can utilize and connect with in order to leverage your career.

What are your professional plans post-graduation?

Post-graduation, I hope to land a job working for a fashion company’s headquarters in Columbus, Ohio working in their planning and allocation department.

What advice would you give a current Denison student considering a graduate program like yours?

Receiving an MBA is so viable and important if you aspire and want to obtain a leadership role in a company. If you decide to work for a couple years then go back to school or go straight out of undergrad, both paths have their pros and cons, but both will lead you to receiving a degree that will allow you to leverage your career to the fullest! Embrace the challenge and success is waiting for you!