Personal Development: Through a Master’s Program

I am more than a year into my experience as a graduate student in Purdue University’s online Master’s in Communication program and my experience has been great!  There have been many great learning experiences — to select a favorite is hard!

However, I can say my interaction with both my student peers and with the professors has been beyond my expectations. It’s the thing I talk about again and again when I speak about the program; so clearly, it’s the best part, for me.

In particular, I really enjoy the discussion posts. I post my ideas and then can be challenged on them by my classmates or professors. This interaction opportunity has proven to be a growing experience for me each week when discussing a new topic.

The professors always frame the discussion posts around the reading assignments for the week, but the real learning takes place as I get to see others’ perspectives on a subject when they think differently than me.

In the back-and-forth conversations that happen in the weekly discussions there have been differences of opinion, but I’ve never had an unprofessional interaction with my peer students.  

This aspect of the program is, in my opinion, one of its true strengths. The ability to be able to debate and discuss items relative to the program’s course of study has allowed me to learn much more than I expected from an online program.  

Additionally, the faculty is a mix of both academics and professionals who practice what they teach every day. This mix provides a solid basis of both theory and practice. As the professors weigh in and challenge the students on their opinions and encourage us to defend our positions, I’ve stretched and grown in ways that I didn’t anticipate over a year ago when I started the program.

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Chris Burch 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 graduated with a B.S. in History from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC in 2010.  I have worked in manufacturing for the past 11 years.  I started out as a shop floor operator working out on the line and worked my way up to where I am now.  In my current role as EHS Coordinator I am responsible for the health, safety, and well-being of over 350 associates.  
 
I enrolled in Purdue to strengthen my communication skills and become more diverse in what I bring to the table.  I have enjoyed the comradery and challenge provided by the program.  
 
I live in Western North Carolina and enjoy the outdoors and going fishing and camping with my family.

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