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Jessica Kizorek, M.S. Mass Communication: Global Strategic Communications, 2022

by Monica Smith

Sep 23, 2022, 1:00 PM.

A recently graduated master’s student has even more confidence to attract business collaborations and funding opportunities and hopes to find a position in academia.
Jessica Kizorek
Jessica Kizorek

Jessica Kizorek founded Badass Businesswomen in 2010, an organization that encourages millennial women to become entrepreneurs. Her background sounds like the test-ground for her company as she maintains three other active companies and many initiatives to help non-profits, like Make-A-Wish, AARP Foundation, Special Olympics and the U.S. Department of State, to name a few.

A published author, Kizorek has 10 books to her name and has appeared on major news outlets such as Fox, NBC, CNN, Weekend Today and the Better Show. Her area of expertise is multimedia for digital marketing and engagement. This year, Kizorek added a new accolade. She graduated from FIU with a master’s degree in Mass Communication: Global Strategic Communications (GSC) and is back at FIU for more. Her FIU doctoral degree in Business Administration will begin in the upcoming year.

Described as an entrepreneur, activist, futurist, world traveler and women’s empowerment specialist, the FIU alumna is ready to take her career even further and has plans to branch over into academia. Kizorek provided her thoughts on her recent student experience with FIU.

When did you graduate from the GSC program?

May 2022.

What was your favorite class and why?

I’d have to say the professional project was my favorite. We had the opportunity to either do a literature review or write a strategic communications plan. I chose the strategic communications plan because I knew that would be of value to me in the business world as I sought to attract business collaborations and funding opportunities. Over the course of my master’s degree, I had raised money from a funder who wanted to understand our plan. I showed him my PowerPoint in detail as it related to impact, results and his return on investment. 

What immediately applicable skills did you learn?

I learned most importantly…APA citations! I have aspirations to be a professor and researcher and knowing how to research and cite peer-reviewed research is important to my development as an academic.

How does your degree help you in your work or how do you see it helping you in the future?

Before I even graduated with my master’s, I had already applied to start the FIU Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) Program. You obviously can’t do doctoral work until you finish your master’s, so the GSC program was a bridge for me to get where I needed to be. 

Why did you decide to study this area and choose this program?

This year I celebrated my twentieth year in business. I founded Two Parrot Productions ( when I was still in college in 2001. Since then, I specialized in video production, which is part of the broader context of communications. I’ve been doing research at FIU since 2015, so it was a natural fit to consider FIU’s programs first. The GSC program was the only program I applied to because it was the only one I wanted to participate in. Since I spent a lot of time outside of South Florida during COVID, a fully online curriculum really made the most sense for me. I was luckily able to work and complete the program simultaneously, which was really good news for a long-term professional. 

Where do you work now? What do you do?

My current passion project through Two Parrot Productions is To expand the reach of my work, my team created a “Filmmaking For Good” curriculum and a learning management platform available to anyone in the world. The curriculum is built for young people ages middle school, high school, and college, so I’m looking for other faculty members who are interested in incorporating videography as a group assignment into their syllabus. My academic partner for the last four years has been Dr. Nancy Richmond, an FIU professor who teaches social media marketing in the School of Business. She’s been both a colleague and a mentor in my academic path, and she was the one who guided me into the DBA program at FIU.

What is one lesson learned that you won’t forget?

I was supposed to graduate in December of 2021. However, I sustained a traumatic brain injury on November 13, 2021, which required me to temporarily withdraw from school in order to heal. I learned that you can’t get too upset when life throws you curveballs. I was able to learn a lesson about self-resilience, and how sometimes you have to take a step backward in order to get where you’re trying to go.

Would you recommend this program to other students?

I would absolutely recommend this program to other students. Each of my classes required a personal or group project and, in many cases, I was able to mold the group project or self-directed work toward my business enterprise called Filmmaking For Good. The research I did on the subject matter, and the peer-reviewed sources that I read helped me understand how my passions fit into the broader global conversation. It’s very encouraging, but also manageable for a professional or parent. I loved that the program is self-guided and that you have a lot of advance warning about when assignments are due. If I had to go back and make the decision a second a time about whether or not to choose this program, I would definitely do it in a heartbeat.

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