January 25, 2021 | Matt Kucinski

A young woman presents to a classroom of students (view is from a seated student's perspective)

In February 2021, Calvin University is launching an innovative master of arts degree in media and strategic communication (MMSC). The one-year program is designed to blend theory, practice, and ethics. The program is geared toward recent college graduates and mid-career professionals looking for training to help them advance in their careers. 

“We want our students to feel like professionals when they graduate,” said Greg Braun, co-director of the MMSC program.  

Guided by industry leaders

Braun is an advertising leader with decades of experience in corporate communications. He has worked on prominent brands like Chevrolet, Toyota, Starbucks, and United Airlines. He’s created work for the Super Bowl, the Oscars, and FIFA World Cup, and seen his work recognized by major awards shows. He’s served as a judge for the One Show, Clios, NY Festivals, London Internationals, and the Emmy Awards. 

With this depth of experience, Braun understands the important gap this new program will fill—especially for young professionals. 

“Corporations used to provide training for junior employees, but most big national companies have done away with that,” said Braun. “So new graduates are expected to hit the ground running. It’s the age-old conundrum: you need experience to be hired, but how do you get experience without being hired?” 

Braun is excited to help young professionals overcome this obstacle. He’ll do so alongside a talented team of industry leaders with a vast range of expertise. From advertising to public relations, to media production and beyond, his colleagues in Calvin’s MMSC program have deep and diverse industry experience. 

Gaining expertise & experience

Students will dive deep into subjects like branding, scriptwriting, and strategic communication in the classroom, then apply their growing skills and knowledge in Calvin’s new creative media agency. Under Braun’s direction, students will solve communication problems for real-world clients.  

“In this agency, our students will occupy multiple roles and gain an understanding of the many different professions in their field. They’ll learn how to collaborate on projects just like those they’ll face in their careers. We want them to feel confident in their ability to tackle these projects, conduct themselves in a professional way, and contribute to their team,” said Braun. “Our goal is that our graduates will not only be able to create, but they will also be able to lead the creative process. That’s a wonderful space for a graduate to be in. ” 

Laying an ethical foundation

The in-depth knowledge gained in classes, applied experience in the creative media agency, and diverse expertise of the faculty combine to make this program appealing to recent graduates and mid-career professionals alike. But Braun also emphasizes that creativity and production skills are most effective in society when supported by an ethical foundation–a foundation which is at the program’s core. 

“It’s not enough to just have the necessary expertise. Ethical practice is becoming more important than ever before. Consumers want brands that conduct themselves in ethical ways–and brands must respond by making ethical practice part of their deliverables,” said Braun. “Calvin is uniquely qualified to offer an ethically-based program that equips and inspires students to employ those values in their careers and the world.” 

The MMSC program is currently accepting applications for the 2021 fall semester. For more information or to apply to the program, visit the Master of Media and Strategic Communication webpage.

About Calvin University 

Founded in 1876, Calvin University is a top-ranked, liberal arts university that equips its 3,300 students from 46 U.S. states, 66 countries, and four Canadian provinces to think deeply, to act justly, and to live wholeheartedly as Christ’s agents of renewal in the world. Calvin offers 100+ majors and programs, including graduate-level offerings in accounting, education, geographic information science, media and strategic communication, speech pathology and audiology. Calvin students engage in intensive internships, community-based service learning, and significant research that results in publishing and presenting alongside world-class faculty. The university’s 400-acre campus is located in the vibrant city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Discover more at calvin.edu.  

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