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Pictured is School of Communication M.A. alumna Carla Leininger. Photo | Chris Rolinson

Meet Carla Leininger

Job title and employer: Web Marketing Project Manager (Trilingual), Eaton Corporation
Degree earned at Point Park:
M.A. in journalism and mass communication, 2008
Hometown: Brasilia, Brazil
Current residence: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Hobbies/interests: I founded a Brazilian Radio Show on WRCT 88.3 FM in 1999 and in 2004 I created Global Beats, a presenter of world music events. I enjoy listening and exploring music of all sorts. I find it exhilarating to share it with my audiences and see how infectious music can be. My freelance activities help to keep all my passions in balance and I truly enjoy all aspects of my life. They all come together in perfect harmony.

What led you to pursue a M.A. degree at Point Park?

I had been laid off and received a training grant. As I researched approved programs, this particular one at Point Park was available. I concluded that it made sense, since my natural passion was in communications and marketing. To this day, I can't believe I finished a master's degree while working full time and being a mom. But that is the beauty of it; to achieve something you never thought possible and move forward believing even more in yourself.

What advice do you have for working adults considering a graduate degree?

If you have been working for a while, you may be in a better position to identify your natural passions and strengths. Then research your career to find out the market conditions for your profession. Consider career paths because where you begin is not where you are going to finish. Many times you can still pursue your passions but in a different way. In my case, once I started taking classes, I decided I didn't want journalism because I really wanted to advocate for what I believed in. Public relations made more sense. I still think it was the right decision.

What are your key job responsibilities?

  • Support and execute focused projects in the management and optimization of Eaton's global websites and related Internet marketing programs using Oracle's content management system and HTML.
  • Provide thought leadership for development and implementation of digital strategies and tactics.
  • Deliver feedback regarding new content to keep the website(s) current, consistent and relevant.
  • Ensure high standards for graphic design, layout of documents and presentation materials.

How has your M.A. degree helped you in your career?

I enjoyed media law a lot because I had never studied law before. Reviewing the various cases and court decisions really made me very analytical in my choices today. I also enjoyed my independent readings class because I got to choose six books to read and write about and so many of them helped me grow on the job. In fact, one of my papers pointed to the growth of mobile marketing. Look at us today.

One of the best things about the program was being able to hear from professionals in the fields. I felt like I was learning and networking at the same time. Their experience helped me decide not to pursue a job in an agency because of the constant turnover. It was also a good decision because I am thriving in the corporate world.

Anything else you would like to add?

I am a believer that doing things on a volunteer basis provides not only a great network of people worth knowing, but also helps develop expertise that a job doesn't necessarily allow you to develop. Volunteering as a board member for a local organization not only can help you grow, but it can also positively impact your community. You'd be impressed how much you can learn just by interacting with other highly educated members and making strategic decisions. It's also gratifying!

There are always things you can be doing to better yourself. The foolish thing is to sit around and wait for the right job or educational opportunity to come to you.

When I worked in recruiting, I always found that entrepreneurs and athletes had a great sense of discipline, leadership and tenacity. So start a business, join a team, create a radio show, take a class - the idea is to always grow as a human being so you can excel at work and in your personal life.


More About: success story, alumni, M.A. in media communication