12:35 PM

Marketing Degrees Boost Havermann

By Dan Silvia

Meeting you where you are, when you are ready – some of the hallmarks offered by online education – can be a necessity for today’s working professional. Cheryl Havermann can attest to that.

Havermann was enjoying her job as a program assistant at the University of South Dakota (USD), but needed to complete her bachelor’s degree in order to move up. After examining USD’s traditional offerings, she estimated it would take her about seven years to complete. That just wasn’t going to work.

“I could only go part-time because I still had to work,” Havermann said. “I started looking around for some online options and Bellevue University popped up. I made some phone calls and before I knew it I was taking classes.”

Havermann had already earned her associate’s degree through Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Nebraska. She enrolled in Bachelor of Science in Marketing Management in 2012.

“I really liked the idea of the cohort where I was with the same group of students all the way through,” she said. “It was a much smaller group. It just really made us feel like we could reach out to each other, ask questions, and bounce ideas off each other. You might have a difference of opinion or see things a little bit differently. We all came from different backgrounds. We all had the same question to answer, but we all applied it to our current situation just a little bit differently.”

Havermann completed her bachelor’s in 2013 and advanced in her career at USD. She enjoyed her Bellevue University experience so much she enrolled in the Master of Science in Strategic Marketing program.

Dr. Julia Cronin-Gilmore and Adjunct Professor Ann Marie Johnson helped make her master’s program stand out.

“Both of them were very, very good. They were always happy to chat or answer anything that we might have an issue with understanding,” Havermann said. “I think I was very fortunate to have them as professors so they could bring their real-world experience into our classroom and help us gain that deeper level of learning.”

Havermann became a Web Content Editor at USD in the midst of her master’s program and later accepted her current position as Director of Marketing for the Yankton Medical Clinic.

“It's a new challenge every day. I am a department of one,” Havermann said. “I do all of the marketing -- everything from a form that a patient might fill out, to our billboards, to all of our websites, all of our social, everything.”

In addition to her job responsibilities, Havermann also recently decided to help out current students at her alma mater, and hopefully, receive some valuable feedback from them, as well. One of her first tasks at Yankton Medical Center was to start working on a website redesign. She contacted Cronin-Gilmore to seek some advice on consultants who might be able to assist. After chatting, the pair agreed to incorporate a critique of the website into the curriculum of an upcoming class.

“That’s real-life learning. Taking a real-life example from a business was one of the things that I enjoyed doing in my classes,” Havermann said. “It was very interesting to study what they did well and consider ways they could improve. I’m anxious to get back any feedback they have. I’m looking forward to hearing their ideas.”