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Real-World Experience Comes to Life for Wesleyan MBA Graduate

Posted
May 5, 2021

Buckhannon, W.Va. – A West Virginia Wesleyan College (WVWC) senior will see his ideas come to life in a series of commercial shoots, as part of his internship with WVU Medicine. 

Cole Skaggs ’21, of St. Clairsville, Ohio, who was recently inducted into the national Alpha Mu Alpha marketing honor society, completed a virtual internship during the Spring 2021 Semester with WVU Medicine.

During the internship, Skaggs conducted research, developed social media content and brainstormed marketing concepts for Harrison County Hospital in Cadiz, Ohio. 

“It was my task to develop social media content to attempt to provide some clarity and facts to make the vaccine more attractive,” he said. 

For another project, Skaggs researched and developed ideas for a social media campaign for Harrison County Hospital, which is now owned by WVU Medicine. Then, Skaggs received a unique opportunity when WVU Medicine secured three 30-second commercials for Reynolds Memorial Hospital in Glen Dale, West Virginia. 

Karin Janiszewski, director of corporate communications and public relations for WVU Medicine, said Skaggs’ “marketing proposals for both traditional and nontraditional media were very well received by our CEOS in the northern region market. My communications team will be utilizing several of his strategies for social media engagement and traditional advertising. 

“I was extremely impressed with Mr. Skaggs’ knowledge of strategic communications and marketing, Janiszewski said. “His ideas for our new service line campaign launch will be utilized in a television commercial to be shot next month.”

Several of the scripts Skaggs developed will be used in the upcoming commercial shoot.

“My task was to brainstorm creative ideas for script copy and storyboarding and then collaborate with Karin,” he said. “Through this process, I conducted research on women’s health, orthopedics, emergency room statistics and the demographic makeup of the area surrounding Reynolds Memorial Hospital. 

“Although the commercial shoot isn’t until after graduation, Karin has invited me to attend so I can see my ideas come to life,” he said. “This was by far one of the coolest experiences I’ve had at WVWC.”

Skaggs will graduate on May 9 with both a marketing degree and the five-year Master in Business Administration. He feels this internship has prepared him for a potential marketing career after graduation.

“Of the 12 commercial scripts I developed, only a few will be utilized,” he said. “However, this made me realize that developing effective content in the real world takes more time and effort than for a hypothetical project. I also learned that I am capable of making an impact in the real world, which was reassuring.”

Skaggs found the internship through personal connections, something students are encouraged to take the initiative and do.

Jill Okes-Kincade, experiential learning coordinator with Career Services in the Student Success Center, said, “By utilizing that network, they have a higher success rate of finding a job down the road. Employers really value students who take that initiative.”

For students looking for internship opportunities, they may contact the Student Success Center at okes_j@wvwc.edu. 

ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA WESLEYAN COLLEGE

West Virginia Wesleyan College (WVWC) is a private, four-year residential liberal arts college in Buckhannon, West Virginia. A tradition of excellence for more than 130 years, West Virginia Wesleyan is home to 14 Fulbright Scholars. The Princeton Review ranked Wesleyan one of its 2021 Best Colleges in the Southeastern Region of the United States. U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 Best College Rankings designated Wesleyan a “Top 20” Best Value – Regional Universities (South) and one of the “Top 75” Regional Universities (South). WVWC offers students more than 40 majors and 40 minors; graduate programs in athletic training, business administration, creative writing, and nursing; 22 NCAA Division II athletic programs; multiple performing arts groups; and more than 70 organizations. Founded in 1890, the College is closely affiliated with the United Methodist Church and abides by the Wesley doctrine that emphasizes service to others. For more information, visit wvwc.edu.

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