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Alumni Spotlight: Kristen Bostedo-Conway

Kristen Bostedo-ConwayQueens University of Charlotte’s Master of Arts in Communication has led graduates to a variety of unique learning opportunities and career outcomes that span various disciplines and industries.

Kristen Bostedo-Conway, a Marketing Executive in the healthcare industry, graduated from the MA in Communication from the Knight School in 2012. Not only did the program provide Kristen with the advanced communication skills to bolster her marketing career, but she also had the opportunity to co-author and publish a research study with a faculty member and has also begun teaching as an adjunct professor. Read more about her experience at Queens and the exciting accomplishments this degree helped her achieve.

What were you looking for in a graduate program and why did you choose Queens?

I began looking at graduate programs a few years after college. I yearned for the type of intellectual stimulation that an academic environment offers. Over the years I requested information about several communication programs while I contemplated the decision. I choose Queens University of Charlotte because of the varied curriculum, the small class sizes and the personal attention the professors/staff gave me every time I had a question or requested additional information.

How have you applied what you’ve learned in the program directly to your current job and how can this degree benefit members of your industry?

The marketing and communication discipline is very complex. You have to understand people’s motivations and be able to ethically use your power of persuasion and promotion in order to educate your stakeholders along key decisions points in sales and crisis situations. I have worked in multiple industries including beverage, government, financial, beauty and healthcare very successfully because I used analytics and numbers to provide solid recommendations. My MA at Queens University of Charlotte gave me a theoretical grounding which added additional validity and peer reviewed backing to the recommendations I have had the privilege of providing to executive leaders.

“If you are going to stay relevant in the marketing and communication industry you have to stay educated and stay engaged. Digital media has forever changed our world. Don’t be afraid to jump in, play and learn new tools.”

The marketing world is constantly changing. What quick advice would you offer to other marketing professionals to stay relevant in an ever-changing industry? 

If you are going to stay relevant in the marketing and communication industry you have to stay educated and stay engaged. Digital media has forever changed our world. Don’t be afraid to jump in, play and learn new tools.

Describe your experience while co-authoring a research study with Dr. McArthur, a Queens faculty member.

During my first semester I took a course with Dr. John McArthur. During the class he mentioned that he was looking for a research partner for a study he was conducting on Twitter. I volunteered and it was an incredible learning process. He served as a mentor and taught me how to create, field, analyze and write a meaningful research study. He also taught me the trials and tribulations often associated with the peer review process. I learned about the biases associated with different communication types and we honed the research paper many times after receiving peer feedback. “You have been accepted for publication,” are thrilling words and “An exploration of the relationship between Twitter use and student perception of teacher behaviors” was published in the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education in December of 2012.

Is there anything else you'd like to say about the program that might be helpful to prospective students who are trying to decide whether it's right for them?

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the vast number of opportunities that I was given once I became part of the Queens community. My study with Dr. McArthur prompted a second research study focusing on nonverbal immediacy and social media usage which I hope will be accepted for publication in the coming months. In addition to the research studies, I had the distinct pleasure of creating an e-book chapter entitled “Designing Consumer Communities: The demand for online customer service” which was published in the book, Community 2.0: At the intersection of digital media and design, available on Amazon. Furthermore, I was given the honor of being one of three presenters at the Knight School of Communication’s first Social Media Boot Camp. Additionally, I applied for, and was accepted as an undergraduate adjunct faculty member teaching public relations courses. Finally, Queens University of Charlotte provided me with the credentials to participate in and accept speaking opportunities which have furthered my ability to become a leader within the marketing and communication industry.

With experiences that included research studies and publication, a diverse curriculum and qualified faculty, the Queens experience provided Kristen with the credentials necessary to become an expert in marketing communication.

For more information on the Master’s in Communication online program available through Queens University of Charlotte, call 866-313-2356 to speak with an admissions advisor or request more information.