UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Taking World Campus classes made life busy and often hectic for Marlon Curl and his young family. Not just a little busy, either. It was change-your-life busy.
“There were days, weeks, heck months, when I didn’t see the weekend. That was tough. Plus my wife and son need my attention, and I have a job,” Curl said.
Still, Curl — the first person to earn a digital journalism and media degree from the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications that was offered online — would not change a thing. He values the degree as a life-changing investment.
“I did all those things to get myself to where I am right now and it was all worth it,” he said.
Curl, based in Los Angeles, has built a successful career in the aerospace industry. He serves as a manager for Thales Group, a French company that designs and builds electrical systems and provides services for clients in fields such as aerospace, defense, security and transportation.
He previously served as a commodity manager Virgin Orbit, where he oversaw procurement activities for the LauncherOne Rocket and worked extensively with the firm’s marketing team in various key initiatives.
Curl was splitting his efforts between an internal communications role and a supply chain position at the time, and he found the hands-on, personal approach of billionaire company owner Richard Branson — as well as the company’s communications efforts overall — impressive and inspirational. Curl’s skills were needed in supply chain, though, so he focused more on that while looking back fondly at communications.
When he discovered Penn State World Campus, with programs that could help him prepare for a career change, he was excited about the opportunity. Curl initially enrolled as a strategic communications major and changed to digital journalism and media to facilitate a bit more of his creativity.