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An Unexpected Career in Journalism Leads Creel to Distance MBA

6-14-18 - Photo and Story by Nikki Harper

When Emile Creel graduated from Mississippi State University with her Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, she never expected to work in journalism or with the public education system. An opportunity to work for MSU changed her mind.

Creel became a managing editor with MSU's Research Curriculum Unit in 2016. The RCU develops educational resources, supports teachers across the state of Mississippi, and produces two print publications Connections and School Focus which concentrate on K-12 education.

"It's neat to see the life process of the magazine from the concept to design to print all under one roof," Creel said. In the process of creating each edition, Creel travels the state to uncover the unique stories of students and teachers in career and technical and K-12 education. She is tasked with including a variety of different schools and topics in each magazine despite the challenge of discovering stories in smaller, more rural schools.

Creel decided she had the time, now, to go back to school, so she did not hesitate. "I wanted an MBA to open more doors for me in the future," she said. Even though she works on MSU's campus, taking time off work to attend classes was not feasible. Earning an MBA online has helped Creel balance her responsibilities.

Creel emphasizes the importance of time management and dedicating time to study and complete assignments. Creel estimates committing 10 to 12 hours a week to school.

Distance MBA courses have provided Creel with business skills like how to negotiate contracts, market a publication and balance budgets. The MBA program's group projects require collaboration and teamwork, much like putting together a magazine.

"What I like about the Distance MBA program is being able to collaborate with other students that come from very different backgrounds and geographic locations." MBA courses like Strategic Marketing Management have helped her to set specific goals and realize the strategic placement of the magazines. As Creel pushes to complete her master's degree, she is eager to apply more of what she learns to her journalism career.

For more information about the online Master of Business Administration degree program, visit

http://www.distance.msstate.edu/mba/

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