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A Newsletter from the Department of Mass
Communication and Communication Studies

Segue is a publication of Towson University's Mass Communication and Communication Studies Department edited by Garry Bolan and Dr. Alexandra M. Vilela. With the exception of the Chair's Message, the articles were written by students in Garry Bolan's Spring 2011 Principles of Public Relations and Integrated Communication class.

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From Public Relations Track to Designer for America Online (AOL)

By Matt Tennenbaum

Towson University prides itself on preparing people for successful careers and this is no different in the case of Sheri Gunzenberger, class of 2008. Sheri Gunzenberger graduated from Towson with a Bachelor's Degree in mass communication, with a focus in public relations. After graduation, Sheri moved home to Manalapan, New Jersey, where she worked as an intern for a high-end event coordination firm in New York City. While there, she realized that being an event coordinator was not what she wanted to do in life.

She then realized her true passion in life—design. To get her foot in the door, she interned at RPM Marketing Group, where she conducted research and surveys. She went on several interviews and eventually landed a job at American Online (AOL) as an assistant to the Marketing Coordinator. She was taken under her boss's wings and learned what it took to be a designer. She was trained in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. After putting in time as an assistant, she was promoted to a designer as part of the AOL Creative Marketing team.

As a designer, she is responsible for deck enhancement. She is given a deck, a rough PowerPoint with all the necessary information, but without any organization or design. It is then her responsibility to take the information and recreate a PowerPoint that follows the standards of an AOL presentation and is customized for the client. She reports to a producer, who is also responsible to the sales department. The designer and the sales team do not communicate with one another but are connected through a producer as the middle person.

Sheri has now been at one of the top worldwide online advertisers for two and a half years and continues to progress in the company.



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