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Student Blog

During my time in the online Master of Science in Communication program, I’ve had the opportunity to work on several projects that I’m passionate about.

Design and communication may seem a little incongruent, but I promise they aren’t. I see them as best friends --- you know, the kind that frolics in grassy fields together. Pursuing a Master of Science in Communications made perfect sense: visual communication is an important part of any long- or short-term strategy that an organization develops, so why not learn and master the communication aspect of it?

Whether you reside in West Lafayette or Thailand, all students are able to make the most of their Purdue University experience. As a Wisconsin native myself, here are 8 tips that helped me feel better connected to the Purdue Community.

Alumni Blog


- A nauseating act whereby an individual attempts to advance personal pursuits, often concluding in a loss of shame.
- The single-most effective way to advance in a career and engage in mutually beneficial relationships.

The first definition you read is exactly how I viewed networking for much of my collegiate and professional career.

Let me be honest here. When I started to think about going back to school, Purdue had a leg up on other grad schools from the beginning.

Everyone thought I was crazy. I was a full-time working mom with a toddler and a kindergartner.

I remember sitting on my bed with the door shut and my husband struggling to keep the kids quiet as I walked through the application process.

Imagine walking up to someone you’ve never met in person and feeling totally comfortable giving them a hug and greeting them like an old friend. Seems unusual and potentially uncomfortable, right? Well when I saw my fellow communication masters classmates at our Purdue graduation, that’s exactly what happened, without any hesitation. More on that later.

In the last blog, I talked about some tips to help you succeed in an online learning environment. To refresh, they are:

- Know your syllabus (and live by it)
- If it’s on time, it’s late
- Ask questions

Seems simple enough, but what else should you do? While I’m not going to give you the latest and greatest on AP style or APA citations, I will give you a few more pointers. Having completed two degrees in the online environment, I’ve seen a lot (and then some).

Some people say that distance learning is the easy way out, when in reality, the only thing that makes it easy is that you don’t have to be in a chair at a set time on set days of the week. The curriculum is just as rigorous and there is a tremendous amount of self-discipline required to be successful. I have seen students succeed and I have seen students fail miserably. You want to be in the first category – if you don’t, you wouldn’t be reading this. So what should you do?

After being employed over twenty years in the financial industry, as an institutional financial broker, I decided to pursue a graduate degree that wasn’t the standard MBA like most colleagues do in my industry. It’s something I always wanted to do. I wanted a program that would balance my experience in business by enhancing my people skills and adding a new skillset that I rarely utilized in my current role to become more marketable within other industries. Essentially, I wanted to add and upgrade my skills after being out of school for years.