Learning That I “Can” in the Master of Communication Program

Author: Allison Parker, Online MS in Communication Student

You’ve probably heard the saying: you don’t know what you can do until you try. It’s true.

I try to teach that to my children, I use it to prompt my coworkers, I say it to encourage my friends, and then one day, I listened to myself. And I took my advice. I made the call, I filled out the application, I wrote the necessary essays, I paid the fee, I even took a test which I had to really study for because it’s been a long time since I’ve been in school.  I did all of that, kind of in a dream-sort-of-state. I don’t think I ever convinced myself this was really happening because I wasn’t sure if I could do it.

But then, I did it.  And you know what? I found out that I could. And I found out it was fun, and interesting and educational, and inspiring and just what I needed.  I tried it, and I found out I could do it and I did it well.

I stepped out of my comfort zone. I went to graduate school, online, in the middle of my crazy, busy life. I didn’t know if I could do it. I didn’t know if I was smart enough, dedicated enough or had enough time, but I wouldn’t know, unless I tried. So I tried, and I did it.

Through the course of the communications graduate program, I learned a lot. My eyes were opened to a whole new world. I learned things that I was able to put into practice in my job immediately. I gained invaluable resources that will continue to help me throughout the course of my career. I learned that there is a whole industry of people doing what I try to do every day for my company.

But the most important thing I have learned as a student in the online Master of Communication program, is that I can. And I never would have learned that, if I hadn’t tried.

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Allison Parker 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
I live in El Dorado, Arkansas. I received my Bachelor degree in Mass Media / Communications in 1993. I have held various positions within the communications field over the past nearly 23 years. I have been employed with my current company, a Fortune 500 international oil and gas company, for nearly 18 years and serve as the Manager of Global Communications, a position I took on in 2014. I manage internal communications and community relations.

I am married and my husband and I have two daughters - ages 13 and 10. We spend a lot of time on the soccer field watching our girls play and we love to go camping.  I teach a two-year-old Sunday School class at my church and serve as a mentor to two elementary-age girls through a school mentoring program.

I earned my Master of Science degree in Strategic Communications from Purdue in August, 2016. I never thought I would want to go back to school, but finding this program at Purdue changed my mind and it has been a wonderful experience!

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