Why I Chose a Master’s in Public Relations from Georgetown

Nick Lagalante (G'24) in graduation regalia.

Three years ago, during the COVID-19 pandemic, I did something I never thought I would ever do in my adult life: I enrolled in a graduate program at Georgetown University to pursue a master’s degree while working full-time.

Nick Lagalante (G'24)
Nick Lagalante (G’24) (Photo by Thru Jum’s Lens)

I grew up a second-generation Italian American in New York City; the first to attend college in my family. I studied English as an undergraduate at the University of Tampa, initially interested in becoming an English teacher or lawyer after college. However, taking on a creative community engagement position in my college fraternity ignited a passion for pursuing marketing communications professionally. I dreamed of attending a master’s program back then, but because of looming student loan debt, it simply wasn’t in the cards for me.

Instead, I landed a marketing communications internship at Theatre Development Fund and spent almost two decades working my way up the marketing communications ladder in different companies. Eventually, I discovered the enterprise technology and cybersecurity industry, where I work today as a global corporate communications director for Tenable, a leading cybersecurity company.

During the pandemic, I sought a passion project to help me stay productive outside of work. The stars aligned to finally pursue a master’s degree. Tenable provided a tuition reimbursement program and both my wife and boss fully supported my decision. Now it was time to find the right program.

  • I considered an MBA; too generalized for my career experience.
  • I considered a cybersecurity degree; too technical for my skill level.
  • I considered other programs; nothing felt quite right.

Everything changed when an informational webinar led me to discover the award-winning Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Public Relations & Corporate Communications (PRCC) program at Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies.

What makes an MPS different from an MBA? While a Master of Business Administration provides a comprehensive end-to-end understanding of how a business operates, a Master of Professional Studies combines a world-class graduate education with in-demand corporate vocational training to deliver practical, real-world skills needed to land and succeed in highly specialized career fields such as marketing, PR, communications, information technology, cybersecurity, real estate, human resources and more.

Here’s why I chose a Georgetown MPS program:

  • Flexible schedule structured to meet the needs of working professionals.
  • Focused on the practical application of corporate communications in today’s business environment.
  • An award-winning Master of Professional Studies program focused on real-world skill training and application, ranked at the very top of its class for communications graduate studies.
  • Georgetown is known for hosting the best and brightest students from around the world and was recently ranked a “Top Private Ivy” by Forbes.

After three years at a part-time pace, I proudly graduated with a master’s degree in May 2024.

So, was choosing an MPS worth it? Absolutely. Here’s why:

  • I gained invaluable insights both in and out of the classroom from PRCC faculty and classmates from diverse backgrounds and industries.
  • I took impactful courses like Crisis Communications that provided actionable strategies to use in real-world crisis scenarios.
  • I became a campus leader by founding the Communications Social Network, Georgetown’s first graduate PR and communications professional organization.
  • I was recognized as an Outstanding Capstone honoree for my work positioning Tenable as a differentiated thought leader in cybersecurity.
  • I made lifelong friends and tons of professional connections.

Despite the challenges, I came out on the other side stronger, smarter, and more capable than ever. The Public Relations & Corporate Communications program’s engaging classroom curriculum and rich community greatly expanded my corporate communications skills, which was recently noticed by Tenable’s executive leadership. From here, I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

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