Let me be honest here. When I started to think about going back to school, Purdue had a leg up on other grad schools from the beginning. There are a lot of Boilermakers in my family (though, regrettably, my dad’s an Indiana alum), and I frequently reminisce about the adventures I’ve had in Hoosier Land almost every summer since I was a kid. So, I’ll admit, I got pretty excited when I realized that enrolling in a graduate program at Purdue could give me one more reason to haunt such Lafayette institutions as Triple XXX and Von’s (seriously—check these places out posthaste) a little more frequently. I realize that you might not have nostalgic memories of summers past in Purdue’s hometown—and I’m sorry for you—so consider the following, what I call the 3 V’s of the Brian Lamb School of Communication (BLSC) Online Master’s in Communication program:
1) Value: I’ve never been one to get too excited about saving a few pennies here and there by going with the off brand at the grocery store. Store brand cola? No thanks. While this unhealthy mindset has undoubtedly reduced the heft of my wallet, my decision to attend Purdue has proven to be one of the most finance-savvy decisions of my adult life! Purdue consistently ranks among the best universities in the country, so I definitely earned my name-brand diploma—but as it’s a public school, that diploma didn’t saddle me with massive debt!
2) Versatility: I was only two years out of college when I started to think about going back. I wasn’t sure what I wanted my career trajectory to look like then, and I can’t say I’m totally decided on that point even now. I did know that I wanted to acquire skills that would serve me well in all my future endeavors, and I can’t stress enough how much BLSC helped me in that regard. You might not always give it a lot of thought, but for something all humans do on a daily basis, communication is hard! Take it from someone who spends a lot of time recruiting and communicating with internal corporate audiences: even if you’re a great writer or public speaker, chances are, you’re not a great communicator. These are skills we all need to hone and develop, and there’s no better place to do so than BLSC.
3) Variety: At the risk of sounding redundant, I’d wager there’s not a single person out there who wouldn’t benefit from some hard-core graduate level study of communication. That said, everyone who enrolls in BLSC programs brings with them different backgrounds, strengths, and developmental focuses. That’s one reason why BLSC allows students of the Master’s program so much latitude in determining which elective courses they’d like to take, and what topics they want to hone in on for research projects and papers. That latitude, coupled with the program’s wide-ranging course catalog, afford students a lot of opportunity for autonomy. Think about it--your BLSC experience can be exactly what you want it to be, and that’s pretty cool.
My three V’s are really just the tip of the iceberg. I met so many amazing people through the online communication master’s program and I am so grateful for the experiences I had that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Trust me, I know you’re making a huge decision right now, but once you take the plunge, you’ll be so happy that you did.
David Rund 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.