Student Achievements

Senior VP and Regional Marketing Director at Fifth Third Bank Makes the Decision to Pursue a Masters at Grand Valley

February 10, 2017

Senior VP and Regional Marketing Director at Fifth Third Bank Makes the Decision to Pursue a Masters at Grand Valley

John Zimmerman, Senior Vice President and Regional Marketing Director at Fifth Third Bank, made the decision to further his career and pursue a Masters in Communications from Grand Valley. The Communications program at GVSU focuses on meeting the needs of various aspects of professional communication and enhancing the effectiveness and leadership skills of professionals within an organization. John found this to be the perfect program for him, having held a variety of positions in the communications realm, such as Senior Communication Director in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University and Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Mercantile Bank of Michigan. John also has extensive expertise in everything from strategic communications and branding to media relations and event planning.

His decision to enroll in graduate school was the next step in his professional career, or as John says, "a no - brainer." Throughout his various positions in West Michigan, he engaged in multiple opportunities to work with GVSU - whether it was with the business college, alumni association, athletics, philanthropy, or communications. The more he attended events on campus, the more he wanted to be engaged as a student at Grand Valley. John said, "Achieving a Master's Degree in Communications was always on my bucket list but I never pulled the trigger. One day when I was presenting to a class of future public relations students, I realized 'now was the time' to go back to school."

John says, "The experience is energizing. Three hours a week I am sitting in class with students that could be my kids. The conversations are engaging, thought-provoking, and I'm learning different perspectives on how to communicate, what to communicate, and how to deliver the message with a new generation of communicators...This was one of the best decisions I've made...No matter what professional position you hold, your audience is always changing, so you need to continue to learn how to engage." 

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Page last modified February 10, 2017