Etolia Stinson poses in USC sweater
Photo courtesy of Etolia Stinson

PRISM graduate unlocks PR potential in the inaugural cohort

Etolia Stinson’s experience in broadcast journalism and social media management helped prepare her for the MS in Public Relations Innovation, Strategy and Management (PRISM) online program. 

The YouTube content creator earned her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Howard University, worked as a production assistant at BET and as a news associate at CNN. While she enjoyed the production and broadcast experiences, Stinson decided to pivot to public relations. 

“I chose USC Annenberg because of the genuine and vibrant culture at USC,” Stinson said.

“The professors are deeply involved with students, showing a clear commitment to their success. After experiencing this firsthand during the application process, there was no doubt in my mind that USC would be my new academic home.”

The PRISM online program enhances a spectrum of career avenues and covers all aspects of brand communication and storytelling — from content creation, social media advertising and influencer relations. Students build a foundation in critical thinking, ethics and data-driven decision-making to lead across the full spectrum of PR, marketing and advertising functions.

Designed by USC Annenberg faculty with input from industry executives, including from the USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations Board of Advisers, the PRISM program provides programmatic guidance and connects students directly through online and in-person networking events.

I have a full-time job, so I knew I had to do an online program,” Stinson said. “This educational endeavor has proven to be both intellectually stimulating and practically enriching, equipping me with cutting-edge skills that are indispensable in navigating the complexities of today's media landscape.”

What was your favorite thing about the PRISM program? 

My favorite aspect of the PRISM program was definitely the coursework. It provided a comprehensive and practical foundation that truly prepares us for success in the real world of communications. The knowledge I gained has boosted my confidence in pursuing success in any area of communications. Additionally, the interactive and hands-on approach of the professors was invaluable. They were always available for extra clarification calls and provided exceptional feedback, making the learning experience even more enriching.

What do you hope to do after graduation?

After graduation, my goal is to dive into the world of digital communication and branding either within a company or agency setting. Simultaneously, I aspire to launch my own brand and image consulting business. I've always been passionate about conceptualizing ideas and executing communication strategies, and I'm eager to apply that passion to my post-grad career endeavors.

How did USC Annenberg prepare you for your future endeavors?

USC Annenberg instilled in me the confidence to pursue my goals with determination and resilience. Through its supportive environment and emphasis on the "fight on" motto, I learned that with dedication, I can overcome any obstacles or adversity in my path. This mindset has prepared me to tackle future endeavors with courage and perseverance.