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Portrait Verena Rhode eLearning Academy

Experience reports  ·  March 30 2022

With a Master’s degree to a management position: Interview with graduate Verena Rohde

Does a Master’s degree increase the chances of promotion to a management position? Yes! The graduate of the eLearning Academy Verena Rohde is the best proof. After completing the online Master’s programme “Cross-media Marketing Communication” at eLearning Academy for Communication, she climbed the career ladder, shines with innovative ideas and looks back on an instructive and joyful period of study. We asked her for an interview to find out how she managed all this and what tips and tricks she would like to share with prospective students and students of the eLearning Academy.


Ms Rohde, you started the Crossmedia Marketing Communication course in spring 2017, which is offered by the eLearning Academy in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Burgenland and the Austrian Institute of Management, and were able to positively complete your Master’s degree after only eighteen months, in autumn 2018.

When you look back on the time of your Master’s programme today as a graduate of the eLearning Academy, how do you feel about it?

I look back with great pleasure and still follow the news of the eLearning Academy. On the social media platforms I read the contributions and postings. Because when you have been positively associated with an institution for so long, you are naturally interested in what is going on there. And somehow the idea of a doctorate is still haunting my mind. Should I ever seriously consider it and pass this offer, I would definitely do it again with the eLearning Academy for Communication!

We are very honoured by that! You obviously love and live “lifelong learning”?

I just can’t get enough and can’t quite do without new input. Immediately after graduating, I was of course happy about my “regained free time”, but in the meantime I completed a distance learning course to become a specialist for spa & regional tourism. At the moment, I’m doing another distance learning course with a focus on city, urban and regional management.

That sounds exciting. What has changed professionally since you graduated? During your Master’s degree, you worked as a communications and media officer in an NPO on the Lower Rhine and were able to make a big difference in terms of internal and external communications. How is that today?

Since April 2020, I have been in charge of the “Tourism & Culture” department at the pilgrimage city of Kevelaer.  This is a very diverse and varied job that gives me a lot of pleasure. I am now responsible for 28 employees and would certainly not have got the job without the Master’s degree. So I owe a lot to my studies at the eLearning Academy for Communication.

What is your daily work routine like?

We are currently expanding the entire tourism and culture sector, have launched a bus campaign in Düsseldorf and already do the event planning for 2022. Due to Corona, we have also launched short-term events, such as an open air in front of our concert and stage house with musical and cabaret offerings. A big light event with 3D mapping in a church is also coming up in November. As you can see, I have many ideas and visions!

Why did you decide on this online Master’s programme back then?

“Learning-by-doing” certainly works quite well to a certain extent. However, it quickly became clear to me that I didn’t want to rely solely on my practical experience in the long run. I wanted a scientific foundation and more in-depth content. In the course “Crossmedia Marketing Communication” I found exactly that. I could study when and where I wanted and had no exam stress. And all this in addition to my job!

Portrait Verena Rhode

Let’s talk about exam stress. Do you remember the examination modality of your Master’s programme? The exams are not just tests of memorised knowledge, but are often very application-oriented. How do you see that in retrospect? How much theory actually stuck with you three years after you graduated?

All in all, a lot. For me, the check-ups were an optimal support to constantly check my level of knowledge and the practical tasks were very exciting in all modules. If I had had to learn knowledge by heart all the time, it wouldn’t have stuck in my memory. We all know this from our school days. How much material you learnt by rote and now know nothing about it.

However, with the help of the tasks set in the online study programme, I dealt with topics in a concrete way and applied my newly acquired knowledge directly. This kind of learning method is much more effective and I still benefit from it in my everyday professional life.

Hand on heart: Looking back, what was the biggest challenge during your Master’s degree?

There were no real challenges in this sense. To be honest, I found it very easy due to the diversity of the course and the combination of videos and texts. All the topics are very well structured, so I didn’t have to overcome myself to learn the material. On the contrary: I had a lot of fun working in such a practice-oriented way. Although I was quite busy at work and worked at least 45 hours a week, I managed to complete the content in a reasonable amount of time.

Do you remember any highlights?

What I definitely remember is the communication concept with Ms Hansen. At the time, I put a lot of time and energy into this conceptual work and was ultimately able to implement the project almost one-to-one. Of course, that fills you with pride! And in the end, I also acquired the tools for strategic work and thinking that I still need every day in my job.

As a practised distance learner and graduate of the eLearning Academy, what do you recommend to students who are just starting out?

I made a plan from the beginning and structured my week tightly so that it was clear when I was studying and when I had free time. I am an early riser and often read the first scripts at five in the morning.


Interested in the Master’s programme Crossmedia Marketing Communication?

Would you like to quench your thirst for knowledge and complete a Master’s degree in marketing communication? Then we have the right offer for you! Our Master’s programmes offer you the highest possible flexibility as well as practice-oriented further education.

You will receive more information about our courses, the Online-Campus and all examination modalities in our next online info-event with our study supervisor Anria Brandstätter. Register now and secure your place!

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