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Student Blog

I was a strategic communication practitioner for many years and did not know it. That is the most important thing I have learned as a MS in Communication student at Purdue, as well as how to harness, broaden, enhance, polish, and present those skills cohesively to plan career steps to soar to new heights.

When considering an online educational program, many of you may wonder: How will I interact with my fellow students? I shared the same concern when I was researching different communication master’s degree programs. The answer is technology!

When asked how I have grown personally and how this has helped my communications career since starting the MS in Communication (Online) program at Purdue, many sharpened abilities came to mind.

Nelson Mandela once said, “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”

I cannot say the choice to pursue graduate education, in addition to the daily responsibilities of marriage, motherhood and full-time employment was made without some level of fear.

It is a beautiful spring morning. The sky is a lovely shade of blue, the temperature is perfection - not too hot, though the sun's rays provide a welcome warmth that is countered by an occasional cool breeze blowing through the trees.

The year is 1997, and I should be on my way to class.

There are a number of reasons why I chose to pursue a Master of Science in Communication with Purdue University. First I had made the decision to earn my Bachelor of Science in Communication with University of Phoenix and upon completing my degree I was faced with growing negative publicity about for-profit schools and how many of them have taken advantage of students, especially veterans. This not only hurts the school’s reputation but the student’s as well.

Welcome future Boilermakers! I know you’re excited to begin this new adventure. To help you get the most out of your time at Purdue, I could give you the typical “thou shalt” advice – do your work, study hard, and stay ahead – but instead, I want to share with you some broader (and actually more fun) goals.

Making decisions isn’t easy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spent most of my morning just contemplating where to go to lunch! Making financial decisions really isn’t easy. As a twenty-something recent graduate working in the nonprofit world, money is tight. Deciding to go back to school was a huge decision and choosing the right school was an even bigger one.

I clearly remember the day I received my acceptance letter from Purdue. The letter included that well-known phrase, “Dear Jamie, Congratulations! This letter serves as your official notification of admission to the Graduate School of Purdue University.” I was going to be a student again - how exciting! I knew that it would be challenging, but my desire to develop as a professional was strong.

Then reality hit.

Communications is a competitive field. I always knew I would need to go back and earn a graduate degree but after graduating in 2013, I wanted to give myself a little time off. I had a good reason for waiting; I wanted to make sure I liked working in communications.