How Choosing a Graduate Program Can Be Similar to Online Dating

Sandra Roddenbury

Sandra Roddenbury, Student & Alumni

Some students may be fortunate to have a large cadre of Boilermakers that spur them on to choose Purdue right from the start. Living over 1,000 miles away, I did not have such a luxury. So my adventure began quite differently – online dating. What else would you call it when sitting at the computer late at night looking for an attractive graduate communications program? As I Googled and Binged my way through a number of prospects, I found several promising possibilities, including Purdue. I made the initial requests for information and waited and watched my inbox for replies.

Each contender responded in time, but from the very moment that I sent in my inquiry to Purdue, I entered into a world of give-and-take communication par excellence. I liken my first experience with Purdue as The Flirt -- Purdue caught my eye and responded, not just with emails but with personal phone calls. The professional and personable care from the admissions team at Purdue made what is often a trying experience – applying to a university – an almost effortless event. The entire team met my expectations and put a song in my heart, and, although it was still a fledgling romance, things were getting serious. So the simple answer to the question of why I chose Purdue is – I fell in love.

But a healthy relationship does not end with just flirting and steady dating – as exciting as they both may be --  it progresses into something deeper. As I have become better acquainted with Purdue University and many of its endearing qualities, I am most certain that we were meant to be together. This is a relationship of which I am proud, by which I am challenged, and in which I am secure. I am proud to be associated with an organization that has produced the likes of Neil Armstrong, Brian Lamb, Chesley Sullenberger and many others. I am challenged by an organization and a faculty that esteem learning and embrace educational opportunities for a diverse population. I am secure in the knowledge that the values, traditions and principles that are important to me are fostered by Purdue.

Though my relationship with Purdue physically remains miles apart, this online learning experience is culminating into something enduring and consummate -- a  communications graduate degree. In just a short time, I will meet Purdue University face-to-face, be introduced to the family, and celebrate becoming a love-struck alumnus. I can’t wait!

Take it from this Boilermaker – Purdue is your perfect match!

Learn More About Choosing a Graduate Program

Sandra Roddenbury 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.

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