Strategic Marketing Communication (SMC) Program Alum Shares Her Professional Success

Kate Dubovikova smiling at the camera and wearing a blue blouse
Kate Dubovikova, alum of Emerson’s SMC graduate program

If you’re wondering how Emerson’s Strategic Marketing Communication (SMC) program prepares students to succeed in the professional world, look no further. Today we’re highlighting Ekaterina “Kate” Dubovikova, an alum from the SMC program. Kate will share her experience in Emerson’s SMC program, as well as her professional journey since graduating.

What is your current professional role?

“I am a Marketing Manager at Trellis, a full-service eCommerce agency,” Kate says. In this position, Kate oversees internal marketing within the company. She often creates content, such as social media posts, newsletters, and blog posts. She also runs campaigns and projects.  

On a typical day, Kate works remotely from home, logging on around 9 am. In the first half of her day, she takes care of daily tasks such as social media posts and graphics. After lunchtime, she typically drafts copy or works on sales projects. On days when she goes into the office, Kate only has a five-minute walk to the building, which she says is very convenient.

What made you decide to go to graduate school?

“I got my first master’s level degree in Russia, studying Intercultural Communication and Linguistics,” Kate shares. After graduating, Kate worked for a time in operations, and then in IT sales. Although Kate was working with an international market, which was a large interest for her, she soon realized that sales was draining. “During Covid, I changed between sales positions a few times and felt really burnt out with sales.”

As she realized that sales was not the industry for her, Kate began looking for graduate programs abroad. “I had always wanted to study abroad,” Kate explains, “so I applied to some schools in the US.” Kate got accepted to several schools, having options to study in an MBA program, an international business program, and the Strategic Marketing Communication program at Emerson.

Why Emerson? 

At first, Kate enrolled in an international business program at another school in Massachusetts, but at the orientation, she realized that the program focused too much on economics for her interest. “I really wanted a program that focused on the storytelling aspect of business and marketing,” Kate says. 

Thankfully, Kate had just enough time to withdraw from the program before being billed. She decided that she wanted to attend Emerson’s Strategic Marketing Program instead, as she was drawn to the program’s focus on storytelling in marketing and had fallen in love with the downtown Boston campus. “Brenna McCormick, the Graduate Program Director, and the whole Admissions Department were amazing and helped me smoothly enroll in the SMC program.”

A window with "Emerson College" printed onto it

What was your experience like in the SMC program?

Kate remarks on the lasting connections she made with students, faculty, and staff while at Emerson. “I was the president of the International Graduate Student Organization (IGSO), and I’m still in contact with my friends from IGSO, the SMC program, the Public Relations program, and other programs.” After graduating from Emerson in the spring of 2023, Kate kept in touch with her Emerson friends, which has been helpful for both personal and professional development.

Kate says it is nice to have friends from a variety of graduate programs because it gives her room to explore many interests. “For example, one of my friends was telling me about how her writing got published recently, and that made me wonder if creative writing would be something I would enjoy.” Most recently, Kate participated in a kayaking event with some of her friends still in graduate school at Emerson. These friendships keep Kate socially busy and give her space to explore a variety of interests. 

“I also am connected on LinkedIn with my professors and supervisors from Emerson,” Kate adds. These connections helped Kate most recently when she applied for a design and media PhD program. She was able to contact her professors and previous supervisors to write recommendation letters for her application. Kate notes that if she ever needs to network or find professional advice, she can always turn to these contacts.

Kate Dubovikova in her cap and gown, posing with flowers and her diploma holder in downtown Boston.
Kate graduating from Emerson

How did you manage school, work, and life while in graduate school?

“In my first semester, I was able to ease into graduate school life,” Kate says. In her first semester, Kate did not work and only focused on her courses. After this, she slowly began picking up part-time jobs, starting out with two on-campus jobs, and eventually adding a third part-time job off-campus. 

“Working three jobs while in school was a lot to keep track of,” Kate says. She notes that the SMC program holds classes in the evening, which made it easy for her to schedule around work. She adds that checklists were very useful for her to keep track of all of her responsibilities. 

“It was hard but rewarding. Being that busy taught me how to get things done efficiently,” Kate explains.

Would you recommend the SMC program?

“Definitely!” Kate says. She remarks that the creative approach of Emerson’s Strategic Marketing Communication program is what drew her to the program. “I learned about design thinking and storytelling, rather than only focusing on the quantitative, numbers side of marketing. We still learned about data and numbers, but there was an emphasis on creativity within marketing, which I loved.” 

Kate also notes that the SMC program has given her a unique skill set that helps her excel in her current marketing manager position. “Emerson trained me to think strategically, so in work meetings, I’m always the one who asks about the ‘why’ behind our projects, which helps us create more engaging, effective marketing,” she explains. 
Kate is excited to see where her marketing career takes her in the coming years. To keep up with Kate, be sure to follow her on LinkedIn. For more information about Emerson’s Strategic Marketing Communication (SMC) program, schedule a call with an admissions counselor today.

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Olivia is a second-year student in Emerson's Communication Disorders MS program. Originally from Ohio, she is loving Emerson and city life. When she's not writing for the Grad Life blog, she loves to read, bake, and crochet.

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