Like many recent college graduates, Michelle Sonniksen was having trouble applying for jobs that required experience. “I felt like my qualifications for positions always ran short because everyone wants experience,” said Michelle. She knew that she needed to boost her qualifications in order to land the job that she wanted.

“There was a day where I got turned down from a position that I really wanted,” said Michelle. “Within the hour, I got an email from SDSU Global Campus about this program, and I just knew that this was something that I needed to do to fulfill what was missing with my qualifications.”

Now, Michelle works for Local Media San Diego as a Sales Coordinator. She’s also a recent graduate of our Professional Certificate in Marketing Program. We wanted to find out more about what her experience with our Marketing program was like.

What was your professional background before enrolling in the program?

I currently work as a Sales Coordinator at Local Media San Diego and worked previously at KFMB Stations as the same position on the radio side. I got my BA in Communication at SDSU back in 2016. In my last semester before I graduated, I interned with the current company I’m with now. (Come full circle!)

What made you decide to pursue an SDSU Marketing Certificate? Why did you choose SDSU?

I decided to pursue a Certificate in Marketing because I felt like I needed to enhance my skills and needed to get my name out there. I’ve always had an interest in Marketing but could never really say why, and I felt that enrolling in this program could help me answer that question confidently to people. One day, a friend of mine decided that she was going to go back to school and pursue a certificate in Marketing (through another program) which then inspired me to do the same. 

I chose SDSU because I did my undergrad there and I have a long family history with SDSU. My dad, uncle, and many relatives also attended school there.

You said that you joined the program, in part, to figure out why you were interested in marketing. Did you manage to find an answer to that question? What was it?

I did! I’m interested in Marketing because I like improving businesses and putting together a plan that helps them succeed. I also love the execution of a plan and seeing what works and doesn’t work for that particular company because everyone’s plan and goals are unique.

Can you tell me about some of your favorite courses or instructors?

My favorite courses in this program were Defining and Positioning a Brand with Rebecca Tall Brown, Media Buying & Selling with Lisa Ratcliff, Content Marketing Strategy and User Experience with Jonathan Forstot and Shannon McGlathery, and Social Media Strategies for Business with Kendra Losee

All of these courses had me learn a lot about Marketing as a whole and new things and interests about myself that I never knew about.

What’s been the most valuable lesson or skill you’ve learned from the program? How have you used those lessons in your current job?

The most valuable lessons that I’ve gained from this program are the importance of having a mission and goals and that everyone’s marketing plan is unique. There are too many companies and businesses out there that seem to miss the mark because they either don’t have goals or they completely overlook their goals when coming up with a campaign because they feel that’s what everyone else is doing. I plan on implementing this with my current and future jobs.

I’ll also remind myself and others what their vital goal and mission is. “What do they want to complete from whatever campaign they plan on executing?”

If you could talk to yourself four years ago, right after you graduated from SDSU, what advice would you give yourself?

Keep an open mind and never burn a bridge! I’ve always known to never burn any bridges and I’ve never done so, but there have been too many coincidences that have happened to me in the last four years that would have never happened for me if I did burn any bridges. 

I began interning at Local Media San Diego when we were in a Joint Operational Agreement with KFMB, and that ended up being the next place I went to work for. Then, three years later, the company I interned for acquired KFMB-FM, along with myself where I am now. I’ve always had a dream and passion for having a career in the media/broadcasting industry and my aspirations have changed a lot in the past four years.

I would just let myself know on that day that I graduated that it’s going to be quite the journey! 

Start Your Journey with an SDSU Marketing Certificate

Whether you’re new to the marketing industry or you’re seasoned marketing pro, earning a Professional Certificate in Marketing from SDSU Global Campus can help you take your marketing career to the next level.

Learn more about the SDSU Marketing Certificate program at