Grad School – How do you decide?
Nov08

Grad School – How do you decide?

Do I need a master’s degree? Is it worth the investment? What’s the point? I must have asked myself these questions a hundred times before deciding that graduate school was, indeed, my next move. Here was my rationale: I enjoy learning. Exploring the gaps of knowledge that encourage me to perform my job more effectively is important to my success. I want to advance my career. Maybe it’s pursuing a leadership role, or finding new ways to develop and apply my skills. Graduate school can help me find my direction. Personal growth is important to me. I want to grow as a professional, but I also want personal fulfillment; that’s something graduate school can facilitate. Finding the Right School & Program A notable difference from my undergrad was that this time around I knew exactly what I wanted out of a program. Some of those needs included: Face to face interaction. Well acquainted with my learning style, I recognized that an online program was not ideal for me. Flexibility to explore other disciplines. The opportunity to take classes outside of my program would enable me to gain diverse perspectives that I could apply to my education and professional career. Quality interaction with advisors and professors. The ability to discuss concerns and questions with faculty without chasing them down was vital. Flexibility. I wanted an outline of what I needed to do to complete the program without pressure to finish within a certain time-frame. Ultimately, the Professional Communication program at IPFW met my needs and was an affordable, convenient option. My personal conversations with friends and colleagues really sealed the deal. A college peer earned her MA in Writing from IPFW through the Master of English program and had wonderful things to say about her experience. Ashley Motia, a friend and mentor of mine, earned her MA in Professional Communication. I remember asking Ashley about her experience in the program when I was researching schools. These conversations, with people who were in my shoes not long before me, were helpful and reassuring as I explored my options. Student-faculty interaction was key in my search for the right school, so, I appreciated how willing and eager IPFW faculty were to meet with me and answer my questions. To quote the wise words of my friend and mentor Ashley, “Your graduate school career should start with and be sustained by quality conversations with faculty and advisors. Those personal interactions are what infuse value into your degree.” The significance of these interactions is obvious, even when I talk to other students. Ian Lese, a graduate student in the Master of Public Management program at IPFW shared...

Read More