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Student Blog

Why would anyone pursue a master’s degree? Why would someone put in the countless hours of studying on top of an already hectic schedule? On more than one occasion, I have heard these questions followed by an overabundance of excuses explaining why someone does not have the time or thinks that a master’s education is not for them. I work full time, and am a parent, how can I balance one MORE thing?

In a way, I wish my life and pursuits resembled a movie:

Imagine as the camera pans to a younger, much more hip version of me wandering the hallways of my Los Angeles high school making friends and high-fiving teachers. Movie-version Ann wrote for the school newspaper, participated in yearbook, and contributed to the debate team. She also probably led the basketball team to four state championships. Inspired by her geographic location, she pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and worked for the best entertainment agencies in Los Angeles.

Except this wasn’t the case.

Having a higher education in today’s job market is not just important; in some cases it is critical to stay competitive in the market place. Then again the prospect of dedicating a couple years of your life to pursuing a degree is not an easy one. A million questions run through your head.

Higher education and I are old friends. And like old friends, we have the seen the best and worst of each other over the years. Our relationship began over twenty-five years ago, when I attended college right out of high school, moving hundreds of miles away from home to do so. Almost a decade after receiving my undergraduate diploma I went back to school again, this time to pursue a law degree.

As a communications professional, I’ve always advocated for authenticity and transparency – brands as an open book. Social media cracked those bindings wide open. I expected this to change the way I communicate. I didn’t expect it to change the course of my career.

Starting out as a Chief Marketing Officer in 2003, I was charged with building the brand and growing awareness in our markets. Traditional media was the logical go to at that time; no one was really using social media as part of their strategic communication plans.

I am almost a third of the way through the online Master of Science in Communication program at Purdue University, and it did not take long before I started translating my newfound knowledge to my professional career. While all of the courses thus far are chock-full of concepts and strategies that are transferable to the business setting, the Seminar in Strategic Communication course provided me with the most real-world knowledge.

One of the most common questions I get after telling someone I’m in school is “How do you find the time?!” It’s a fair question. I work (more than) full time as a communication director of a national nonprofit; my husband and I are rebuilding a house ourselves; I do freelance web design. And let’s not forget all of the everyday family obligations!

2012. It was the year I first starting working in communications. It also was the year I had a memorable conversation with someone outside of my office about how “social media didn’t belong in my industry.”

So, you decided to pursue a Masters degree in Communications? You've weighed your options and found Purdue's online communication masters program to be the best fit. You see how you can use advanced marketing, crisis communications, and data analysis to boost your career. Are you ready to get started? Here are a couple tips to consider as you prepare.