How I Overcame My Nerves and Became a New Student in Purdue’s Communication Masters Program

McKenzy Olson

McKenzy Olson, Student & Alumni

In the fall of 2014, I was becoming a little stagnant with my life routine. Upon noticing this, I decided it was time to look for a change. So I began my research with master’s programs. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to go back to student life having been away from it for a couple years. How would I make the time? Was I still as knowledgeable as students are today? Would I understand the material? Questions like these constantly ran through my mind.

After researching a couple programs, I decided it was time to reach out and apply. After talking to the online admissions counselor at Purdue and explaining some of my concerns she assured me that they preferred someone who had been in the working world for a while before entering this program. It reassured me that this was a good fit for me, as I wouldn’t have to move cross-country to attain a master’s degree. I also knew that by making a couple life adjustments I would be able to accommodate 20 hours a week to my studies.

The nerves continued even after I was accepted into the program. After I began the program things casually fell into place and a routine started. Each week I knew what day and time assignments were due so I was aware in advance when to prepare. One thing I noticed is that there were never any surprise deadlines, but if something came up and you were in a bind, each professor was more than happy to work with you. I was able to make some other adjustments in my life that helped me find more time to study, read the text, write discussion posts, and complete term papers.

There are days where fitting everything in seems nearly impossible, but then you remind yourself how you got to this point and how much you want to see the end goal. A master’s degree will bring many job opportunities in life, it will set you apart from other resumes, and it shows endurance and knowledgeability by completing the program. Returning to school is a long-term commitment. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it!

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McKenzy Olson 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.