I sat down with my boss today to discuss expanding my horizons. More specifically, the value of graduate school in my life. Let me rewind for a moment.
Grad school is something I’ve been mulling over for about 4 years now. I quickly realized how lucky I was to find a job right out of college, missing the job crisis that began in 2008 by narrow margins. Soon I noticed many of my friends forgoing the somewhat futile job hunt to continue on into their masters degree. Here we are 5 years later and more and more college graduates are forgoing “real world” jobs in favor of advanced degrees. Crap! Does this mean I’m behind because I don’t have a graduate degree? Still, I couldn’t pull the trigger and go back to school without knowing the program I was going into would yield both a solid return on investment and scholastic enjoyment. So I put off going back to school.
Today, I spent a good hour talking to my boss, an executive director of the local chapter of a major nonprofit, a mother of two, a university guest instructor, a candidate for a masters degree and a woman whom I have already began to look to as a mentor, about my personal aspirations.
We talked about why I want a degree?
What do I want to do with my career?
One thing is for sure, I want to be in communications. I want to engage people. I want to build brand confidence and brand awareness. I want to be in charge. I want to be creative. I want to plan and execute. I want to help younger women be successful.
What are my strengths?
My boss said, I have a clear grasp of how integrated marketing works and how to apply those concepts. She said I have a knack for calming a situation and getting what needs to be done, done. She said I am a sales person and I sell myself well. She said I am aggressive and clearly go after the things I want. I agreed with her. (toot, toot- yeah, that’s me tooting my own horn!)
Will my aspirations require an advanced degree?
Maybe, maybe not. It’s hard to say if experience will outweigh education. But I do know that one day I would like to teach at a university and that requires a masters degree.
What do I want out of my personal life?
I want to be a good wife and mother eventually. I want to be financially stable. I want to be able to travel.
Where do I see myself in 5, 10, 15 years?
So I sought out the experts at my local Barnes and Nobel and as fate would have it, I happened upon Fortune Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women Issue. I’ve got a lot of reading to do.
What do you think? Are you thinking about getting a graduate degree? Do you already have one? What’s helped you make the decision?