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Bridget Rissman poses for a group photo with other professionals in front of a senate member's office. 

A Real-World Digital Marketing Experience

Getting an MBA was always on Bridget Rissman’s bucket list. She was enjoying a successful marketing career after college but realized an advanced degree could help increase her business lingo.

When Rissman '18 enrolled in the Part-time MBA program at St Thomas, she specifically chose electives taught by adjunct faculty with real-world working experience.

The Part-time MBA is designed to be flexible and customizable for working professionals. Students can tailor their degree with 50% core courses and 50% electives. Rissman’s elective courses in marketing strategy led her to work with actual clients.

For one semester, her class was assigned to develop a business strategy for Green Card Voices, a non-profit that uses video storytelling to tell the stories of immigrants living in Minnesota. The students developed a fully integrated marketing communications plan from social to paid advertising. “The project was helpful, intense and gave us real-world experience,” she said.

Another great learning moment was centered on of the biggest sporting events of the year -- the Super Bowl. Rissman couldn't believe her luck.

Faculty member Gino Giovannelli was hired to lead digital marketing for the 2018 Minnesota Super Bowl Host CommitteeHe gave students a behind-the-scenes peek at his work with the committee: “I started every class by saying, ‘You want to know what’s going on with the Super Bowl?'"

“Gino's digital marketing class was almost like a mini internship in a way," said Rissman. "Learning the behind-the-scenes marketing behind this huge event was such a unique thing. I really feel like I got my bang for my buck.”

Giovannelli has an extensive digital marketing background and runs a consulting practice outside St. Thomas. Each week his class covered a different area of digital marketing. Rissman would bounce social media ideas off fellow students and ask Giovannelli specific job-related questions.

She applied the learnings immediately in her job. “I was able to go back to work and start a new campaign and test out my new findings. I work at a non-profit so anything I can do to make it better is always helpful.”

Rissman is a Public Relations and Social Media Manager at the Alzheimer's Association Minnesota-North Dakota and supports non-profit events throughout the year.