How Should I begin My Preparation for Graduate School?

One of the most beneficial aspects of starting an online program at Purdue is that the class materials are posted in advance. As each class was beginning and ending I would prepare by reading the syllabus and class schedule for the upcoming class. Most professors also post weekly videos that detail what students should understand from their readings and classwork. The textbook list was sent at the beginning of the semester so it’s best to order well in advance in case of any shipping delays for those ordering online.

Preparing For Graduate Coursework
After receiving the book it’s important to get familiar with the schedule and the chapters. As you’re preparing to begin a new class many professors have you post a paragraph about yourself, what you’ve enjoyed in the program, what you are excited to learn in the proposed class, and how you can better understand the material. I suggest reading through these posts, as they help you relate to your classmates as well as find new ways that you can understand the materials and coursework.

As a master’s student at Purdue we are bringing in previous experiences and relating them to our new learning environment online. It’s important to use what you know and develop that into more thorough discussion posts. You will learn from your classmates and their discussion posts and familiarize yourself with a different outlook on the same readings.

Prepare yourself the most by reading the class materials and adjusting to deadlines. This also helps with time management and giving you enough time to understand the coursework before the assignments are due. Good luck in your future classes!

Learn More

McKenzy Olson is a student in Purdue’s online Master of Science in Communication degree program. The program can be completed in just 20 months and covers numerous topics critical for advancement in the communication industry, including crisis communication, social media engagement, focus group planning and implementation, survey design and survey analysis, public relations theory, professional writing, and communication ethics.

About the Author

Hi, my name is McKenzy Olson, a MS Communications student finishing up my degree in August 2016. I grew up as the oldest of four children in Mohall ND, a town of about 800 people. My family farms 15 miles south of the Canadian border. In the Spring of 2013 I received my Bachelors degree in Public Relations and Advertising from North Dakota State University. I studied abroad that summer then began working as a Marketing Assistant for a Machinery company. In the last year, I moved home to be closer to family where I have been serving and substitute teaching. I am currently applying to continue on for my doctorate as I work to attaining a Ph.D. and attain my goal of becoming a University Professor. I look forward to sharing my life/work experiences on the new student blog.

*The views and opinions expressed are of the author and do not represent the Brian Lamb School of Communication.