Pursuing Your Passion

Britnee Christen, Alumna of Gonzaga's Master's in Communication and Leadership
COML Alumna, Britnee Christen

June 13, 2023
Jenna Turner ('16) | Graduate Enrollment Management
Britnee Christen isn’t afraid to pivot, especially when it comes to her career. When the pandemic ended her tourism job, she decided she needed to change careers and earn a second master’s degree. Drawn to the blend of communication and leadership, Christen applied and was accepted to Gonzaga’s online Master’s in Communication and Leadership (COML) program.

“This program has really been something that I value beyond just the educational knowledge. It's really pushed me to reexamine things, redefine what I want to see as success for myself. Part of that has been stepping out of my typical comfort zone and diving headfirst into a new career and starting a brand-new music festival,” said Christen.

That brand-new music festival is the Moscow Mountain Music Festival. The festival is in its second year and will bring musicians and local businesses together this summer on August 12th.

Christen says COML helped her gain the confidence to pursue her dream of creating the festival and provided valuable skills for her work in higher education at the University of Idaho.

“I can’t think of a single COML course that I have taken that hasn’t directly impacted the work I’m doing. I’m using what I’m learning professionally every day,” said Christen.

The online flexibility of the COML program allowed Christen to balance school, her full-time career and her event management business. Even with her busy schedule, she says she was still able to feel like she was part of the Gonzaga community.

“I have wanted to go to school at Gonzaga ever since I was little. I want to be a Zag. I want to understand what it means to be a Zag. And I think the COML program really like hits it on the head as to what it means to be a leader.”

Christen continued, “I've gone through classes with people that I started with, so I've built camaraderie through those connections with this program. The professors do a really great job in building community. Even though we're not meeting physically every week in a classroom, we're still holding that same space online, and I think that's something that really sets this program apart.”

Christen graduates this May and will be transitioning to a new role in student affairs at University of Idaho. She now feels, thanks to the confidence and knowledge she gained in COML, her future is wide open with possibilities.

“I feel like more doors have been opened because once I complete this program, I'll have some skills that set me apart that I wouldn't have had otherwise.”