How Earning my Graduate Degree in Communications Helped Me To Be Fearless

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Stefanie Leiter, Student & Alumni

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.

One of the first questions I was asked is if I had the discipline to handle an online learning environment: the discussion boards, the readings, the accelerated course structure, and the technology. Considering my entire career was focused around online communications, the thought never crossed my mind. To me, online learning meant convenience, flexibility, and purpose.

Building Confidence with a Masters in Communication

Communication graduate programs sounded overwhelming both in my limited free time and in my mind. It had been nine years since my undergraduate studies; I cannot possibly go back to school.

Fear crippled my mind.

Fear that I would miss deadlines at work. Fear that I would fail my professors. Fear that I would not be intelligent enough for graduate learning. Fear that I would fail my family.

I quickly replaced fear with strength. Strength that I would balance my time between work, class, and family time. Strength that I was smart and confident.

I found a canvas while on vacation that I immediately gravitated towards that evoked confidence: “She believed she could so she did.”

And that is what I learned. Be fearless. Aim to be the best person you can be. Don’t say no before you try.

With Purdue University’s online master’s of science in communication program, it was easy to be fearless.

Replacing Fear with Knowledge

My admissions counselor replaced my fears with answers about the technology, financial aid, and the class structure.

My classmates replaced my fears with praise and support in the discussion boards and learning through each other in close examination of our case studies and giving advice through our professional experiences.

My professors replaced my fear with confidence in the assignment feedback and by challenging my critical thinking skills in relation to my professional career.

Moving forward my goal is to teach my children and others around me to be authentically fearless. Find your passion and pursue with purpose. If you do not try, you will never know how far you can go.

Learn More About Communication Graduate Programs

The online Master of Science in Communication degree 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.