Final Essay and Reflection


This essay is a reflection on my experiences through the Master of Science in Communication and Information Management program with 123 College. Given my personal goals for expanding my analytical thinking and creativity; adding tools to my toolbox about communications and information management; refining my managerial skills; and advancing my civilian and military roles; I can attest that each of these goals have been met through dedicated, diligent focus on my studies throughout the program. Fulfilling the degree requirements as demonstrated in this essay and receiving my Masters of Science in Communication and Information Technology is a significant step toward advancement in leadership not just management within the global business community. The talents, proficiency and commitment exhibited throughout the degree program prove achievement of my personal goals and the program goals. This degree would not have been possible without the support and guidance of my classmates and professors; and, enduring patience of my husband and daughter.

Achievement of the Communications and Information Management

Masters in Science Degree

This essay provides source documents compiled to demonstrate my proficiency in the course objectives for the Masters of Science in Communication and Information Management (MS in CIM); and, as the final project for completion of CIM 670 Capstone Case Analysis. Throughout the past 18 months, I achieved a breadth and depth in communications and information management beyond my expectations. Combined with completion of an intensive 40 week Advanced Joint Military Professional Education course during the same period, I have achieved my personal and professional goals for my civilian and military roles. My ePortfolio contains the multiple examples of my proficiency in communications and information management that support attainment of the MS in CIM program goals as well as the requirements for final award of the degree. Personal goals for advancing my education with the MS in CIM, how I chose the program and Bay Path College, attainment of the program goals and personal reflections are included in the essay.

Personal Goals
As I reflect on my decision to embark on furthering my education in 2011, I was relatively stuck in my civilian and military roles with limited potential for advancement. My competitiveness for leadership roles seemed limited as I had relatively little ‘formal education’ in management despite over 25 years of military service and eight years of employment at my civilian organization. Returning to college with an eight year old at home; and, being able to juggle my multiple roles would be a daunting task.
After talking about different programs in the area, the program requirements and how it may impact our home life, my husband and daughter gave me permission to head back to college to advance my education. As all of us would be challenged throughout the program, their blessing and support were critical to my ability to meet the individual course and overall program requirements. Essentially, my personal goals turned into family goals for degree completion and those combined goals are being realized through completion of my courses and degree.
For my personal goal of advancement with the military, I was also required to take a 40 week Advanced Joint Professional Military Education course. The course required graduate level work; however, unfortunately does not award college credit. Fulfilling the military course requirements at the same time as my MS in CIM requirements added a good deal of angst and coursework onto my plate in addition to the CIM program requirements and life in general; however.
My family goals are much easier to attain. As of the completion and submission of this essay, I will be able to put away the computer; and, will be spending more quality time with my husband and daughter. Thinking back to my family’s involvement in making the decision to return to school, their help in researching colleges that offered online courses was instrumental in our decision to apply to Bay Path College.

123 College
In comparing college programs in the local area and online colleges, 123 College was the right fit for my family and me. Combining communications with information management was the apparent difference between 123 College and others colleges that offered online course completion. Having the courses laid out in eight week intervals; and only having to take a couple at the same time during the 18 month program were also important factors in the decision to attend BPC. The reputation of 123 College as a quality institution with exceptional faculty members is well known in the collegiate community. Having as much of an understanding as possible as to the specific requirements for the MS in CIM program at 123 College , I applied for the program and started my studies in February 2012.

This essay and the adjoining ePortfolio demonstrate that I have met the CIM program goals to achieve the Master of Science degree. The documents, discussions and PowerPoint presentations provided on the ePortfolio were specifically chosen to demonstrate the achievement of the eight program goals and are listed in Appendix A. Your comments will add to my continued knowledge development and personal growth; so, please feel free to comment on the individual pages of the ePortfolio.
The CIM course numbers will be used to identify the course that I was taking in relations to specific assignments and discussions. The following list summarizes the courses:

CIM 601

Theories of Communication and Information

CIM 603

Professional Communication Strategies

CIM 605

Business Intelligence

CIM 607

Applied Research Strategies

CIM 610

Business and Information Strategy in a Global Environment

CIM 634

Strategies for Fiscal Management

CIM 640

Strategic Innovation

CIM 642

Project Management

CIM 654

Knowledge Management

CIM 670

Case Analysis Capstone

MS in CIM objectives
Based on my review of the requirements for the MS in CIM, I know that I have met the criteria. Expanding analytical thinking and creativity; applying knowledge that developed during the program to a variety of applications in communications and information management; refining problem solving and management skills; and feeling prepared to work in interrelated fields were met through careful, conscientious completion of all course and program requirements. Missing from the objectives but realized for me during the course of the program was that I am not only prepared for management; I am prepared for leadership and globally; not just locally. Each of eight program goals is addressed with support demonstrating my proficiency in each goal.

Program Goal #1:

The ability to demonstrate articulation, assessment and application of appropriate theories and principles in information and communications was not a far leap from my graduate studies at
Boston College. In fact, one of my instructors at Boston College was Nurse Theorist Sister Callista Roy. Every semester I spent at Boston College has theory and research courses. I felt well prepared to jump into CIM 601 as my first course.
Throughout CIM 601, I articulated, assessed and applied theories to written assignments; and, online exams. I also shared my opinions on developmental theories for communications and information management through course discussion threads. For Program Goal #1, I included the CIM 601 instructor comments that validate my ability to articulate, assess and apply theoretical considerations to a variety of scenarios and specifically communications and information management. My CIM 601 papers (many of the ‘best answers’ for the weeks) on Defense of “You Cannot Not Communicate” axiom; Burke’s Dramatic Pentad; Functional Theory; Narrative Theory; Spiral of Silence Theory; and, Moore’s Use of Aristotle’s Rhetoric reflect this ability. I
also included the answers to Mini-Exam #2 to exemplify my ability to apply theoretical considerations.
One of my favorite papers in the entire CIM program was “Applying Burke’s Dramatic Pentad to the Presidential Speeches Post 9/11”. Being in the military watching the video of President Bush at the site of the World Trade Center post 9/11 was exceptionally moving to me. I still remember that day as I was on a C-130 at Scotia ANG in NY preparing to take-off for a training mission. The only call I could get to home was through a pay phone in the operations building at the base and I remember only saying “I’m okay. I love you. I will be on the road to home in a few minutes” to my husband.

Program Goal #2
Throughout each of the course assignments and discussion threads, I have demonstrated proficiency in written and visual communication. Additionally, oral proficiency was demonstrated in PowerPoint submissions for assignments. During my Advanced Joint Professional Military Education course, I demonstrated written proficiency in my research paper on “Resilience across the Joint Service Spectrum” as well and have included that file in my ePortfolio.
The development of strong communication skills is important as clear and succinct communication in written, oral and visual communications underscores our ability convey information to others and get our points across. The significance of being able to communicate what is intended; to propose innovative solutions, reach diverse populations that can be impacted by our communication efforts, create quality and detailed products; and, attain and sustain professional relationships are skills that all managers and leaders need to have. I demonstrated this ability throughout the CIM course of study.
Besides my paper on resilience, I uploaded the following files as they clearly demonstrate that I am proficient in communication: CIM 605 Super Stores Data Analysis powerpoint; CIM 607
Individual Research Proposal paper; CIM 610 GMCR Strategy Analysis paper; CIM 640 Creative
Intelligence Meets the Medici Effect paper; CIM 642 Berlin Airlift Case Study paper; and, CIM
654 Pecha Kucha powerpoint.
Of all these assignments, Pecha Kucha and Mashups was my favorite assignment because my daughter assisted me with it by narrating two of the slides! It is the epitome of oral, visual and written work combined into one product for my CIM studies. Having Pecha Kucha and Mashups for my topics was truly enlightening. The ability to create a “lightening talk” PowerPoint and have so many positive comments from my classmates and Professor Rivet affirmed that I had met the objectives of the assignment which supports achievement of Program Goal #2.

Program Goal #3
Strategy to ensure competitive advantage, sustainability and profitability in business is essential for companies and businesses to define and communicate. Applying leadership decision making on the global front of sustainable competitive advantage was a newer concept to me; however, with the structure of the CIM program, I was able to incrementally expand my knowledge of theories to managerial decision-making to sustainable competitive advantage in a variety of industries and the multiple facets of the industries. I have become proficient in considerations for market and industry forces; organizational, knowledge and human resources; core competencies; and value adding activities.
I included files from CIM 610 on business strategies in the global environment to demonstrate that I learned the importance of strategy; shaping organizations for competitive advantage; and, analyzing threats to this advantages. These files are: Strategy; Choice, Trade-Offs and Fit; Enterprise Systems; The Five Forces; The Value Chain; Web-Enablement; and, Business Information Strategies in the Global Environment Week 8

DQ 3

Competitive Advantage
To demonstrate my understanding of strategic versus operational goals, I included the Professional Communication Strategies Week 2 Discussion thread from CIM 603. In this discussion, I was able to portray the importance of strategy development, implementation and execution; and assert that without a strategy, the chances of achieving competitive advantage decrease. My Candle Corporation 2013 and Beyond paper demonstrates my knowledge of and ability to articulate operational considerations based on company analysis.
I also included the Digital Corporation two minute PowerPoint presentation from CIM 640 in this section as it demonstrates that I learned how to analyze businesses and their strengths and weaknesses in comparison to industry competitors. The Super Store Data Analytics Planning paper from CIM 605 also demonstrates my ability to conduct a detailed analysis of organizational structure, financial data and the stage of development for data analysis of the organization.
The importance of all of these discussions and assignment was the ability to apply principles of managerial decision-making to competitive advantage and considerations of potential threats from competitors in the industry or new emergent into the industry. The underlying principles and evaluation methods for financial information are the foundation of good financial decision-making.

Program Goal #4
Prior to the CIM program, I had a basic understanding of budgeting and investing. With the guidance and patience of the course instructors, I was able to develop and demonstrate solid knowledge of financial analysis; and, overcome my number phobia. At this point, I have gained confidence in my ability to apply and analyze information as it pertains to financial decisionmaking; and, the files in the ePortfolio validate that I met Program Goal #4. .
Included on the ePortfolio are assignments from CIM 634, CIM 642 and CIM 654 as they demonstrate achievement of my knowledge of the concepts for financial decision-making and analysis. From CIM 634, I included four Management Decision PowerPoints as they demonstrate my ability to grasp and relay key concepts in financial management; budgeting and, applications for different financial statements.
Proficiency in financial data calculations was demonstrated through the Excel Budget Assignment for CIM 654; and, Problem Set 2 for CIM 642. For CIM 642, I was able to clearly present financial considerations for project requirements in the Project Plan – Concession Trailer paper. In the Project Management Discussion 3-1 and Project Management Discussion 4-1 from CIM 642, I was able to address the impact of poor sponsorship and ambiguous requirements on project budgeting.
At the conclusion of CIM 634, I knew that I had gone from a finance novice to knowledgeable financial decision-maker. Despite not having a wealth of experience in finance, I am was able to demonstrate my knowledge about principles and evaluation methods for financial decision making; and, convey this knowledge through written means in my Bed Bath and Beyond Analysis paper; PetSmart Financial Analysis paper; and, New England Office Chair Company Budget Recommendations Powerpoint.

Program Goal #5
Program Goal #5 focuses on understanding the interdisciplinary nature of the CIM degree and its application to incremental and disruptive innovation. Several of the CIM courses provided the necessary knowledge of these concepts to expand my ability to understand; and, effectively communicate them. The importance of diversification in organizations to expand the potential for innovative discovery and complimentary collaboration is significant and often poorly utilized. The knowledge gained through this program goal is important to organizational and industrial growth and development as well as sustainable competitive advantage.
From CIM 610, I included my Web-Enablement paper and assertions in the Business and Information Strategies in the Global Environment Week 1/DQ3 and DQ 4; and, Week 8 – DQ 1 to demonstrate my understanding of the importance of technology as a key strategy in disruptive innovation. My Creative Intelligence Meets the Medici Effect paper and Indie Capitalism PowerPoint for CIM 640 clearly demonstrate my understanding of and ability to articulate creativity and collaboration on innovation on a global level.

Program Goal #6
With a strong back ground in research, I found the collection and analysis of data for decision making and communications relatively straight-forward. During my graduate studies at
Boston College, research was a primary focus of the curriculum. Being proficient from prior experience and research, this course enabled me to fine tune my knowledge and skills in research. The importance of this learning focuses on the ability to collect and analyze data, identify critical themes from the results and appropriately integrate the findings into organizational planning and strategy.
For CIM 607, my Bibliography and Individual Research Paper; and, the Team Final Research paper and PowerPoint demonstrate my proficiency with research methods, data
collection and analysis as well as my ability to interact with an interdisciplinary team to accomplish goals. Additionally for CIM 607, I demonstrated my ability to use evaluative criteria to analyze research in the Week 1 Analysis Discussion on Ethics; and, the Week 5 Research Design Analysis and IRB Discussion.
In order to demonstrate the use of research methods specifically for decision making in communications and information management, I included my GMCR Analysis and Executive
Summary from Business Strategies in the Global Environment Week 8

DQ 4

Final Project
Executive Summary and Discussion
post for CIM 610. This analysis and summary reflects my ability to analyze large amounts of information and summarize it into succinct products for presentation.
Demonstrating the ability to collect data from a variety of sources and analyze the data, I was able to present the material and support decision making for financial considerations of the company. I was able to incorporate new facets of research methods into the assignments and expand my knowledge of research analysis throughout the MS in CIM Program. The knowledge and skills gained through this program have enhanced my ability to provide critical analysis for research, decision making and communications.

Program Goal #7
Applying cultural and global perspectives to business and management of information and communications was enlightening. This learning is important in CIM as it provides us with a solid background in understanding of cultural and global perspectives as they relate to modern business, communications and information management. Understanding how cultural perspectives can affect business; and, how technology, communications and information management have a global impact on business are critical in organizational planning of strategy; and, toward achieving and sustaining competitive advantage.
From the CIM 640 Strategic Innovation Week 5 Discussion 1 on Pepsico in China; and, CIM 610 The Business Strategies in the Global Environment Week 7 – DQ2 – Value Creation represent my understanding of cultural perspectives in business and ability to articulate these perspectives to my classmates. Additionally, The Value Chain paper for CIM 610 delineates out the use of the value chain as a powerful tool in business. My Five Forces paper for CIM 610 demonstrates my understanding of competition in industry and considerations for identifying threats from competitors.
The power of globalization through connectivity was also demonstrated in my CIM 640
Indie Capitalism PowerPoint. My GMCR Strategy Analysis for CIM 610 detailed the company’s rise to competitive advantage through careful consideration of culture and globalization. For CIM 640, my paper on Creative Intelligence Meets the Medici Effects articulates alternative energy systems planning that complies with cultural expectations and effectively reduces our carbon footprint and its effect globally.

Program Goal #8
Working in healthcare for a couple of decades now, I have a strong background in legal and ethical standards. Experience with Institutional Review Boards, risk management; and, ethical and legal considerations in healthcare aided me in developing the ability to articulate legal and ethical standards as they apply to business, communications and information management. Knowing these perspectives as they apply to CIM provides an excellent resource to advocate for professional codes of ethics in industries.
For CIM 642 Business Strategies in the Global Environment Week 7 – DQ2 – Value Creation, I argued that professional codes of conduct should be the norm. This sentiment was echoed throughout our class discussion. In CIM 603 Professional Communications Strategies
Week 4 Discussion 1, I asserted that intellectual property should be protected legally. My Argument on Poor Attendance paper for CIM 603 argued the ethical and legal considerations of taking credit for time you do not work. Codes of conduct discussed in CIM 642 Project Management Discussion 8-3 clearly articulate my belief that professional codes of conduct and adherence to them are must dos.
Additional support to demonstration my ability to articulate and apply legal and ethical standards is shown in the CIM 607 Team and Individual Research Papers. With experience in research and the multitude of legal and ethical considerations in the healthcare industry, my ability transfer knowledge to evaluate ethical and legal considerations as they apply to business, communications and the management of information was seamless.


In each of the courses of the CIM program, I have demonstrated my proficiency in the concepts and principles of business, communications and information management. I am amazed at the new knowledge I possess and my ability to skillfully and concisely portray that knowledge to others through oral, visual and written forms of communication. Through dedicated study and completion of all facets of the program, I have attained my personal to expand my analytical thinking and creativity; apply business, communications and information management knowledge in my roles; and, refine my problem solving and management skills. Additionally, I am better prepared to be a leader for my civilian organization and in the military. Career advancement for both is now on the horizon and because of the knowledge I gained from the MS in CIM program,
I am well prepared to meet the challenges that lay ahead of me.

Appendix A

Welcome Page

Welcome to ——ePortfolio

Personal Goals
• External Education

Excerpts from —–College Catalog Course Descriptions.doc

Program Goal #1: Theories and Principles in CIM

Theories Instructor Comments
Applying Burke’s Dramatic Pentad to the Presidential Speeches Post 9/11
Defense of Watzlawick, Beavin and Jackson’s “You Cannot
Not Communicate
Applying Functional Theory to Jury Decisions
Narrative Theory
Applying Spiral of Silence Theory to Everyday Interactions

Program Goal #2: Proficiency in Communications

Individual Mini-Research Proposal
Creative Intelligence Meets the Medici Effect
GMCR Strategy Analysis 2-28-2013
Super Stores Presentation
Pecha Kucha and Mashups
Resilience Paper
Case Study
Wingman Day 2013 CC Comments

Program Goal #3: Decision

Choice Trade-Offs and Fit
Enterprise Systems
The Five Forces
The Value Chain
Digital Equipment Corporation and the Medici Effect
Professional Communication Strategies Week 2 Discussion
Business Information Strategies in the Global Environment

Week 8

DQ 3

Competitive Advantage

Super Store Data Analytics Planning
Candle Corporation 2013 and Beyond

Program Goal #4: Financial Analysis

Excel Budget Assignment
Problem Set 2
Project Plan Concession Trailer
Bed Bath and Beyond Analysis
New England Office Chair Company Budget
Management – The Future

Program Goal #4: Financial Analysis

Management Decisions Management Decisions II Management Decisions III


Project Management Discussion 3-1
Project Management Discussion 4-1 Pet Smart – Final Project

Program Goal #5
Interdisciplinary Innovation

Creative Intelligence Meets the Medici Effect
Indie Capitalism
Business Strategies in the Global Environment Week 8 – DQ 1 – Key Issue
Business Strategies in the Global Environment Week 1

DQ 3

Cirque du Soleil

Business Strategies in the Global Environment Week 1

DQ 4

Red or Blue Ocean

Program Goal #6 Research Analysis

Team Final Research PPT
Team Final Research Paper
GMCR Strategy Analysis
Applied Research Strategies Week 1 Analysis Discussion
Applied Research Strategies Week 5 Research Design
Analysis and IRB
Business Strategies in the Global Environment Week 8

DQ 4

Final Project Executive Summary and Discussion

Applied Research Strategies Week 2 Team 4 Post

Program Goal #7: Cultural and Global Perspectives

Indie Capitalism
Business Strategies in the Global Environment Week 7 – DQ2
· Value Creation
Business Strategies in the Global Environment Week 7 – DQ3
· Using Data
Knowledge Management Week 8 Discussion #2
GMCR Strategy Analysis
The Five Forces
The Value Chain
Creative Intelligence Meets the Medici Effect

Program Goal #8: Legal and Ethical Standards in CIM

IRB Certificate
Team Final Research Paper
Individual Research Paper
Argument Poor Attendance
Project Management Discussion 8-3
Professional Communication Strategies Week 4 Discussion 1
Strategic Innovation Week 3 Discussion 2
Case Analysis Capstone Week 4 Discussion 1

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