Why the Graduate Degree

My pursuit of a graduate degree in journalism began nearly 3 years ago. After having spent over 10 years (at the time) in the optical field, a profession I fell into and had no intention of spending any length of time doing, I decided to put my degree in journalism to use and began searching for a new job/career. I hoped that my minor in marketing would be able to leverage me into a better position. I realized that despite my education, my lack of “real world experience” in the journalism or marketing field left me with two choices: One was to start at the beginning and work my way up or the other was to forego any such desire I had to change careers and resign myself to the life of an optician (which isn’t a bad life, it just wasn’t the life I had dreamed for myself).

Four years ago, I purchased my first home. Two years ago, I quickly realized that the market was going to continue to plummet. Whereas my house was initially my sanctuary, it soon became the chasm in which I was drowning, and I was starving for the cash to pay for it. After much counsel and inner debate, I realized that the only way I was going to be able to pursue anything was to sell the house. I relinquished my homeowner status in exchange for the chance at a career change. My house did eventually sell, almost one year to the day after I put it on the market. I was then free to begin the journey in preparing to apply for grad school.

Rewind a decade…ish. I was sixteen, and full of questions about life, boys, etc. I needed something that I could latch on to, something that answered my questions, someone I could ask without fear of persecution or being rebuked. There was nothing out there that adequately supplied that need. I realized the need for a magazine that bridged the gap between secular advice and the guilt-ridden ideology of the church. So, logic dictated that I needed to go to school to learn print journalism and create that magazine. My expectations and goals for that education and my hope for the doors it would open fell short and I found myself doing the same thing I’d be doing for the next 10 (ish) years. It was time to make a decision: either stick with the career I fell into or to move out of my comfort zone and start heading in the direction that my heart was pulling me.

It is my greatest hope that through this program, I will not only learn the skills I feel were missing from my undergraduate degree, but that I will successfully cultivate new avenues by which I can launch my E-zine, finish and publish the novels I have been working on, do some consulting work for other companies on how to use media to further their goals, and to work with, aid, and strengthen women to carve out a dream or two of their own.

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