I chose graduate school because my university didn’t have a public relations track or major in its undergraduate curriculum. I discovered a passion for PR after doing an internship with a local nonprofit organization. A few other factors that contributed in my decision to pursue a master’s degree were: time, opportunity and cost. I decided getting my master’s would open a lot of doors and offer variety in my career choice. I also sought advice from graduate students who weren’t traditional students – they had families, careers, children, social and philanthropic organizations they were apart of as well as graduate school. Some people advised waiting and gaining some work experience, others advised to attend now and be finished.
It’s a common question most recent graduates are asked during graduation season: – “What are your plans after you graduate?” I know it can be overwhelming, especially with the various options available. Travel the world, start a career, or go to graduate school? While many new graduates may feel overwhelmed with the next decision, it’s important to make the right one for yourself.
Ultimately, you have to think about what best suits your current situation and future goals. For myself, I thought that I’m still young, not married, have no children, I’ve started my career so that I can gain experience and earn my master’s degree. It was also helpful that I was able to get grants and scholarships, to cover the bulk of my expenses. Also, think about what you can get out of going to graduate school – if you feel that you didn’t do enough in undergrad, use grad school as an opportunity to gain more experience and training. Go to conferences like the PRSSA National Conference in Boston, do an internship or independent study.
The goal is to make the most of your experience so that you have real world experience paired with classroom experience to market yourself in the future..
Tyra is a graduate student at Norfolk State University and currently works for WAVY-TV. She is a member of the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity and Norfolk State PRSSA Chapter. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications from NSU in 2016. Her ultimate career goal is to do public relations for a nonprofit organization. In Tyra’s spare time she enjoys cooking, reading, travelling for good food and spending time with family.