2021 grad earns integrated marketing communications master’s over 40 years after earning his bachelor’s

Rising Up at KUEC: In this Q&A series, outstanding 2021 KU graduates share how the KU Edwards Campus has helped them start, advance or change their career. Meet Jeff Slutsky.

Jeff Slutsky, Master of Science in Journalism: Integrated Marketing Communications, 2021 graduate

Over 40 years after earning his bachelor’s degree, 2021 graduate Jeff Slutsky is still committed to his education, graduating this May with a Master of Science in Journalism in Integrated Marketing Communications. Though the 65-year-old initially felt anxious about returning to school, his desire to update his skillset and advance in his career kept him motivated.

“I’ve been in marketing and advertising for many years, but it was critical that I knew the most current trends, technology and terminology to better leverage my experience and abilities,” Slutsky said.

Slutsky made the decision to attend KU not only because of the excellent academics, but also because of the networking opportunities afforded by attending the Edwards Campus. He looks forward to making a major contribution to his next organization.

In addition to being a marketing professional, Slutsky is a father to six children, including a set of triplets, and a martial artist. Learn more about how he advanced his education at the KU Edwards Campus.

Q: What is a typical day in your life like?

A: I make breakfast then get the kids off to school. Work on some freelance writing or marketing projects from home. Play solitaire on my computer. Drink two liters of diet coke. Scan job opportunities. Do my homework. Pick the kids up from school. Yell at the kids to do their homework. Yell at the dogs to stop barking. Wait for my wife to come home from work and sweetly ask about her day. Repeat.

Q: What makes you the happiest?

A: Working on a project that allows me to use my creativity, going out to dinner with my wife and friends and paying off the balance on my Discover Card.

Q: What motivates you?

A: Learning something new, accomplishing something worthwhile and fear.

Q: Why did you choose KU and the Edwards Campus?

A: In looking at the various master’s programs, I wanted to get to know and network with my professors and fellow classmates, so attending a local campus was very attractive. Plus, KU is a top-notch university.

Q: How did KUEC meet your personal and/or academic needs?

A: I wanted to upgrade and update my marketing skills while adding an “M.S.” to my name on a resume. I’ve been in marketing and advertising for many years, but it was critical that I knew the most current trends, technology and terminology to better leverage my experience and abilities.

Q: How has your KU degree prepared you for the future?

A: It allowed me to combine a graduate degree designation with the skill sets and knowledge that employers find most valuable. 

Q: What was the most difficult part of earning your college degree and how did you overcome it?

A: It was over 40 years between earning my bachelor’s and starting my master’s program, so I felt a little intimated by the process. Plus, I was older than all the other students and professors. I overcame my anxiety by “staying the course.” My professors were wonderful and the course work was challenging, practical and useful.

Q: What is your proudest accomplishment?

A: My contribution to our research and capstone project and how well we worked as a team.

Q: What is your favorite memory of your time at KUEC?

A: In our podcast class, I was paired up with a doctoral candidate from China. Our final project was to create a podcast together. Our topic involved using humor as a communication tool, and it was a blast. It turned out very funny and professional. I’m thankful that I’ve made a friend for life, or as my partner would say, xiexie.

Q: What are your long-term career goals and how do you plan to achieve them?

A: I want to advance my marketing career within a great organization where I can make a major contribution. To accomplish this, I am following the advice and help of my professors on networking within the marketing community and especially with those involved in the integrated marketing communications program at KU. 

Q: What advice would you give others who are thinking of earning a degree, whether a first-time bachelor’s, a second bachelor’s, or a master’s?

A: Remember that you are making a major investment, in time and money, for the one thing that will have the biggest impact on your earning potential and professional fulfillment. Choose your major wisely and make your degree your major focus.  Once you pull the trigger, complete the requirements as quickly as is reasonable to do so. At the same time, remember that you’re not there just for the grade or the degree. Enjoy the process, learn the material, do the work, and build personal and professional relationships that will serve you well into the future.  

Learn more about KU’s Master of Science in Journalism in Integrated Marketing Communications offered at the KU Edwards Campus.


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