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.
After months of researching programs from local colleges, I couldn’t find a program that fit my schedule and that was easily accessible with reasonable tuition cost. While having a daily 1-½ hour commute to work each way from my home in New Jersey to downtown Manhattan with a wife and three children, I didn’t want to add any more commute time to my weekly schedule. Therefore, I started researching online communication graduate programs, which meant having the ability to seek many more options of schools throughout the country. How exciting I thought!
My wife Brenda of 18yrs is a Purdue University alumnus and, ever since I’ve known her, she always speaks highly of Purdue’s academic standards. In the academic world, Purdue is considered to be a globally reputable university. Out here in the east coast, it has a very solid reputation. To others in the general public its known as a Big Ten school with a great academic reputation, which I consider as being in the upper tier of the Big Ten universities. The facts are Purdue University is nationally ranked 61 with over 400,000 alumni worldwide. This led me to look into their online programs; there I found the new online MS in Communication program to be interesting. After reviewing and speaking with an admission counselor, I immediately began the application process. Having the flexibility to obtain a communication graduate degree from my home through an outstanding and highly reputable university was a perfect fit. It was a dream come true!
Most importantly, it’s a program with valuable business attributes that would add the new skills I was looking to acquire. This applied program integrated multiple topics in the communication field, such as organizational strategic planning, public relations, crisis management, global communication, ethics and social media. I further discovered the communication department maintained a world-class ranked graduate and doctoral program on campus, which is housed in the liberal arts school. Additionally, it’s named after the founder of CSPAN, Brian Lamb, who graduated from Purdue University in the 1960s. My interest in politics from my early years allowed me to quickly recognize Brian Lamb from his cable network, which pioneered how government news was delivered to the public.
All the positive factors about Purdue and attributes of the online communication graduate program, allowed me to acquire new skills that fit my daily schedule as a family man with a demanding job, while permanently affiliating myself with a traditional and world-class university. Today, both my wife and I are boilermakers. Boilerup!
Joseph Porchetta is an alumni of 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.
*The views and opinions expressed are of the author and do not represent the Brian Lamb School of Communication.