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Marzenka Styrczula '06 MBA '13 got her first experience at Chicago's best-known media brand—the Tribune Company—through an internship her senior year. After graduating with her degree in corporate communications, that internship turned into a full-time job as a marketing specialist with the Tribune's Spanish-language Hoy newspaper.
But she knew that to advance in the company she would need to continue to develop her analytical and business skills. She took advantage of the accelerated MBA program through Dominican's Brennan School of Business, which allows Dominican students to take graduate-level business courses while pursuing their undergraduate degrees, and completed her MBA in 2013.
"That really was great, because it gave me the opportunity to take classes outside of the communications program that were more focused on business," she says. "That's where I really got a flavor of marketing and statistics and the classes that later on ended up helping me in my career and in my first job."
Because her professors often brought real-world examples from their experiences in business to classroom discussions, she was able to apply much of what she learned as she progressed through the MBA program directly to her work.
Her employer took notice of the new tools and abilities she was bringing to the team and rewarded her with promotions, eventually leading to her being named director of the Tribune Company's MediaWorks property. In that position, she oversees marketing and operations for the cutting-edge group that mines audience data to help businesses connect with their customers and prospects.
"My boss and people I work with ask for my advice because I have an MBA," she says. "It's definitely something that was worth my while."