Master Track is a seminar program that includes 8–10 participants and meets once per month from September through May. It is co-led by two experienced communications professionals with entrepreneurial and group facilitation experience. The charge for this non-credit seminar is $550.
Master Track was one of the most—if not the most—important and influential aspects of my MPC experience. While what we learned in the classroom has translated into the workplace, the one-on-one mentoring and experiences that Master Track provided offered me insights, connections, and opportunities I never would have had otherwise. Martha, Jeff, and my mentors continue to influence my career, and years later, I'm still grateful for their guidance.
The Master Track program provides MPC students and MPC alumni with the opportunity to explore practical business and career issues in a confidential group setting and to receive mentoring support from area communications leaders.
- Personal monthly mentoring from a communications leader
- One-on-one coaching from the seminar leader(s) to discuss individual career and life issues
- Exposure to corporate officers from communications companies in a confidential small group setting, with opportunities for an ongoing individual mentoring relationship with many of the presenters
- Peer seminar for group discussion regarding your challenges and opportunities
Master Track was the stepping stone between getting my master's and getting my dream job. Martha and Jeff facilitate a comfortable zone for professional and personal growth by encouraging participants to share fears, hopes and insecurities. And mentors and speakers expose participants to a wide selection of communication possibilities. Master track truly was group counseling, career coaching and Saturday hangouts with highly educated friends all in one. The experience gave me confidence, direction and connections to make my master's degree count!
Who should participate?
Master Track is available to students currently enrolled in the MPC program and MPC alumni.
- Participants are selected on the basis of interest level, demonstrated leadership ability, commitment to attend and participate actively in meetings, willingness to pledge confidentiality, interest in executive career development, entrepreneurship, and diversity of the group.
- Preference will be given to applicants who have achieved at least a 3.5 GPA in a minimum of 21 credit hours, demonstrated leadership ability, and shown an interest in being successful in their organization and/or the company they want to create.
- Applicants must commit to attending each session (one Saturday a month from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.)
I am so grateful I had the opportunity to participate in Master Track. It was truly the capstone of my MPC program experience. I can't think of any other example in life where we have the chance to be concurrently surrounded by mentors and peers who demonstrate such caring, excellence, support, and commitment to helping each other get to the next level - both professionally and personally. An unparalleled experience with demonstrable, sustainable, and positive results. Thank you!
- Executive development and entrepreneurial orientation: Participants interested in improving themselves and the organization they serve and/or the companies they wish to create will get the most out of, and contribute the most to, Master Track.
- Commitment: Participants must commit to attending all meetings during the year. With the small size of the group, full participation will measurably enhance the quality of the seminar experience.
- Confidentiality: Each participant must agree to hold all group discussions in strict confidence.
- Openness: Each participant should have a “lifelong student” orientation and be willing to be an active participant in a group setting.
- Academic performance: Preference will be given to those who have achieved at least a 3.5 GPA and have completed at least 21 credit hours towards the MPC degree.
Master Track was the most amazing opportunity. It allowed me to connect with my peers and to learn from experienced professionals. If I could, I would participate in Master Track every year. This experience was absolutely invaluable.
- Better understanding of the personal challenges and rewards involved in starting and/or managing a communications department or company
- Personal exposure to communications leaders of the greater Salt Lake community
- A safe environment in which to explore and address personal and professional challenges and opportunities
- Clearer understanding of the trade-offs of a chosen career path
- A sense of fulfillment and accomplishment by helping yourself and others work through business and career issues
- A trusting relationship with a successful, experienced communications leader who can help mentor and hold you accountable
- Experience in a continuing small group where support, criticism, creativity, and group- process skills are fostered
- Opportunity for personal and professional growth
Master Track is the reason I selected Westminster College’s Master of Professional Communication program. With a busy academic and professional schedule, I was concerned about the time commitment needed for Master Track. However, I couldn't be happier that I made the commitment, giving myself an opportunity to seriously consider my professional journey. Master Track provides students a dedicated time and safe place to develop personally and professionally. I don’t know of any other academic or professional environments where students will have access to communication professionals who truly understand mentoring relationships. The facilitators, mentors, and fellow Master Track students genuinely care about each participant’s personal growth and professional success. I strongly encourage all MPC students to embrace this life changing opportunity.
How to Apply
Potential participants must submit a resume, two reference letters, and a short application (you may be asked to interview with the seminar co-leaders) no later than June 10, 2012.
MPC Master Track Application
Once your application is complete, you will receive an e-mail notification to that regard. If you have any questions, please email Helen Hodgson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 801.832.2821.
Participating in Master Track is one of the best decisions I've ever made. Learning about myself and my fellow students is a wonderful experience that I will carry with me always. Master Track has changed the way I think about my career and inspired me to pursue my dreams. Sharing this experience with such a dynamic group of individuals (both mentors and students) has been the opportunity of a lifetime.
- 9:30–Noon Outside speakers, generally selected from successful Salt Lake area
business owners and communications leaders who will share their experiences in starting and running their communications companies
- Noon–1:00 Lunch, participant updates, and morning debriefing
- 1:00–2:30 Executive session, where participants use the group as their “personal board of directors” to address issues important to them. This session is limited to participants and the seminar co-leaders only, and all discussions are held in confidence.
- Ground Rules include strict group confidentiality and 100% participation.
The MPC Master Track Program has been the highlight of my Westminster experience. I am overwhelmed by the generosity and expertise of the leaders, mentors, and my fellow MPC students. These individuals have challenged and motivated me to achieve potentially the most important professional goal of my life. And on a personal level, they have guided and encouraged me through an unexpected, psychologically difficult period. I will be perpetually grateful for this experience and for the wonderful people who have shared it with me.
Martha Felt Barton
Martha is the retired CEO/owner of the Martha Felt Group, a successful advertising and public relations firm serving technology clients with offices in San Francisco and Salt Lake City. Prior to starting MFG, Martha held management communications positions at Novell, Dahlin Smith White, Thomas Phillips Clawson, and Gardiner Advertising. Currently Martha holds several board positions, including a Board of Trustees position at Westminster College. She has taught marketing classes in the MBA program at the Gore School of Business, teacges classes in the undergraduate Communication Program, and was a mentor in the MBA Master Track program from its inception until she began the MPC Master Track program. She feels strongly that the type of learning that takes place in Master Track provides an extraordinary complement to the MPC program. Martha has a master’s degree in European history from Northwestern University and a BA in both English and history from Westminster College. She is an avid hiker in the mountains around Salt Lake and the deserts of southern Utah.
Jeff Paris was born and raised in Worland, Wyoming, where he graduated from Worland High School. He attended Brigham Young University and received degrees in communications, Italian, and music. He began his career at Gilham Advertising in Salt Lake City, Utah. There he worked on public relations activities for clients including Domino’s Pizza, Hogle Zoo, and the Utah Highway Safety Commission. In 1988, Jeff became the Communications Coordinator for the Utah Symphony. Two years later he was promoted to Marketing Director. As Marketing Director, Jeff handled all press relations; managed print, radio, television, direct mail, and other advertising campaigns; and supervised marketing employees. Jeff became an Account Supervisor at the Martha Felt Group in 1997 where he worked on advertising campaigns, direct mail programs, corporate Web sites, extranets, special promotions, and other marketing programs for clients including 3Com, USWeb, CyberSource, and Excite. Jeff continued his account service responsibilities through several corporate mergers—from the Martha Felt Group through Boede and Partners to the current agency owner, McCann Erickson. In 2004, Jeff moved from account service to creative services and began working as a writer. Currently he is a VP and Group Creative Director at McCann Erickson, where he manages creative projects primarily for Microsoft but also works on campaigns for Mighty Dog, Sally Hansen Cosmetics, and others. Although Jeff can’t identify anything he would list as a hobby, he spends much of his free time reading and pursuing a better understanding of art, both visual and performing.