CENTER VALLEY, Pennsylvania – Courses are highly regarded for the on-the-job training they provide for college students. Even better, they sometimes lead to actual job offers.
Such was the case for 2020 Penn State Lehigh Valley (PSU-LV) Corporate Communications graduate Karissa Ackley, who received a job offer from Emmaus-based Altitude Marketing shortly after completing an internship at the integrated business marketing firm. .
The 23-year-old started at Altitude as a PR and Content Marketing Specialist. After some time in this position, she realized that she wanted to learn more about agency-client relationships, and began a journey that eventually led to her promotion to her current position as Customer Engagement Manager for the company’s account management team.
“My primary duties include serving as the main liaison between the client and the agency, managing the client’s business portfolio, and ensuring that client needs are met internally,” Ackley said. “Day to day, I spend my time drafting emails to key stakeholders, conducting meetings with the Altitude team and our clients, and using our project management software to coordinate deliverables.”
“There is nothing better than the feeling of working with an energetic and motivated team when reporting on our work to a client,” she continued. “Whenever I have the opportunity to showcase and prove the results of our efforts to our clients, I consider them successful.”
Akley was drawn to the “inherent resilience” of the Corporate Communications program at Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz University, finding the courses “memorable, relevant and thought-provoking”.
“Communication is an ever-evolving field – and always in demand – that is of great importance in every industry, and I have enjoyed including the program in marketing, public relations, graphic design, and crisis communication classes,” she said. “Because of its scope, students receive a well-rounded education that successfully introduces them to multiple aspects of the communication discipline. The faculty were very passionate about their field, and the discussions in the classroom were insightful. My public speaking proficiency also received a boost due to the amount of experience I had in making presentations – It is a skill that has proven effective in my career after college graduation.”
Away from the semester, Ackley landed a very valuable work and study position in the campus’ Office of Strategic Communications. From the start, she had her sights set on getting an internship with a marketing agency.
When Ackley’s fellow student recommended looking into Altitude Marketing, I headed to the company’s website. I was immediately impressed by the agency’s wide range of integrated marketing expertise, its focus on business and, perhaps most importantly, its work culture.
“Marketing is an area where innovation, creativity, and design yield the greatest results, and everything I saw on the Altitude website confirmed how much he values those values and takes pride in providing the best marketing solutions and services to his clients,” Ackley said.
Given how successful the training was, Ackley was “overjoyed” to accept the job offer as soon as it came her way. Now well established, she continues to make good use of her education at PSU-LV.
“My degree has equipped me with a number of physical and soft skills that are directly related to my career,” she said. “I learned how to present my work with confidence, how to research, analyze and interpret data, and most importantly, how to think critically about the ‘why’ behind strategic recommendations in marketing and communication. Attending PSU-LV allowed me to explore an area I love and secure a job opportunity with a company that values its employees and cares about success. its clients”.