School of Communication

Alumna Promoted to Manager of Social Media at UPMC After Completing M.A. Program

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Pictured is alumna Shannon Shields, social media manager for UPMC. Photo | Nick Koehler

Meet Shannon Shields

Job title: Manager, Social Media
EmployerUPMC
Degree earned: M.A. in Communication Technology, 2017
Hometown/Living in: Pittsburgh, Pa.
High school: Carrick High School
Hobbies/interests: CrossFit, traveling, cooking and reading
LinkedInShannon Shields

What factors led you to pursue a graduate degree at Point Park University?

"Shannon’s graduate experience helped prepare her for work on multiple integrated marketing campaigns and consistently positioned her as a thought leader in the social media and digital marketing space. We wholeheartedly view her as our social media expert and lean heavily on her to provide concrete strategic recommendations for all of our digital campaigns."

-- Jessie Henry, Senior Manager, Digital Strategy


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I discovered my love of communications, marketing and social media through volunteer work with the Steel City Road Runners, where I managed communications and social media for four years. During that time, I decided that I wanted to make a career change and started applying for jobs in social media and digital marketing. Since I only had volunteer experience, no one was contacting me for interviews. I decided to get my M.A. in communication technology so that prospective employers would know that I was serious and I knew what I was doing.

Who impacted you most from the M.A. program?

Professors Heather Starr-Fiedler and Patty Swisher for all of their encouragement and support.

Tell us about your role at UPMC and recent promotion.

I started at UPMC in 2015, after my first year of graduate school, as a member of the social media team. I was responsible for day-to-day community management and content development for social, which later expanded into overall social strategy. At the end of 2017, I was promoted to manager, social media, and I am now responsible for overseeing the social media team and driving the social media strategy for corporate marketing at UPMC.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

We get to tell so many good stories. There’s no shortage of interesting and inspirational content coming out of our hospitals and clinical teams.

What are your career goals and what role has Point Park played in helping you reach them?

My career goal when starting my graduate degree was to do social media for a local company, so I would say at this point that I’ve surpassed my original goal. Changing careers was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Getting my master’s degree from Point Park was the catalyst that allowed me to make that change.

Photo by Nick Koehler, freshman photography major

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