One thing was evident while I was in my undergraduate years: this wasn’t the end of my educational journey. I knew I would be finding my way, likely while working 40 hours per week, to further advance my education.
I heard about Purdue’s online M.S. in Communication program when it first launched. Many different factors appealed to me. The two biggest were:
1. Brand Recognition of Purdue University
2. Courses Relevant to My Communications Career
Brand Recognition of Purdue University
Working in the marketing field, brand name recognition is everything. You may have brand loyalty for clothing, food, or even paper products. For example, I grew up in a household where Bounty paper towels were the only ones I ever knew thanks to my mother who, yes, also has a background in marketing.
When I started working in communications and living in different regions of the country, I became aware that my “bubble” during my undergrad years going to a small liberal arts college was small – and unknown – to many outside of Massachusetts. It was the right decision for me at that point in my life and I’m forever grateful for the close friendships, well-rounded education and faculty knowing me by name. If I could’ve gone back and done it again, I wouldn’t have changed my undergraduate experience. Yet, I knew I wanted to try something different for grad school – a school that had brand name recognition in the form of a national reputation – and thanks to its size, scope and sports, Purdue had that for me.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Brian Lamb School of Communications had the small school feel that I loved about my undergrad years – I was recognizing students in multiple courses and to my professors, I wasn’t just a number – I could easily reach them if needed.
Courses Relevant to Communications Career
The courses also appealed to me. Courses in global communications, crisis communications, social media, public relations and communications fundraising were functional areas in communications that I had gained experience in during the two years out of college while I began work in the field.
As an English major in college, I had plenty of literature and writing based courses, but knew I wanted more experience dealing with crises, public relations, and the area that has grown so much in a few short years – social media. Purdue offered all of that.
If you’re going to be working over 40 hours a week, the courses need to be interesting and motivating. Though I am only a few courses into the program, I’m confident that Purdue is teaching me the right skills through the courses they’ve chosen – and I’m glad I chose to be a Boilermaker for my graduate years.
Megan Flanagan 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.