Friday, April 29, 2011

To Get the Master's or Not?

This week has been dedicated to my full- time job of finding a job. Luckily, I can savor my job- finding time for this week because I have financial means but what if I didn't? What if opportunities didn't work out or what if I can't find one in an appropriate amount of time?

As I am sitting here with my lap full of cover letters and resumes I came across an interesting article, Experience vs. Education for young PR pros by Julie Walsh, a Media Relations Specialist for Walker Sands.

She uses the common communications technique of SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, Opportunities and threats) to show her experience getting her masters and having a job at the same time.

I have heard of many people doing both at the same time. They both compliment each other and can help you learn about each side of the spectrum. However, this poses a major, "weakness of time management," said Walsh. Basically you will have two full- time jobs. This is possible but will you get the most out of both?

Unlike Walsh, I can't necessarily justify a master's degree at the moment. I will pursue a masters eventually but I feel like real work experience will help me figure out what I want and then I can target my aspirations from there.

Recently, I just finished a rigorous full- time internship for international communications company, Fleishman Hillard. It taught me so much being in the real field. I know now that perhaps the real way to figure out what you really want in a career, is to find internships in between undergrad and graduate school. I have seen similar experiences from professionals in my field. Another option is to find different types of jobs in between undergrad and graduate. I have been looking mostly at non- profit and corporate companies and organizations to find out which atmosphere works best.

Through the variety in my internships, I have learned work environment can never be repeated in a classroom, especially in a full- time setting. In my agency experience there isn't much of a way to hold a full- time position while attending school. It is a required 50-70 hour week for a full- time position and a lot of your work is done outside of office hours (especially travel). This is an example of how this experience can only be found working full- time at this office. This is only one example of a demanding job but there are many jobs that it would be possible to do both at the same time.

As I sit here desperately writing and hoping for that one email that will take me out of unemployment, I think about how easy it would be to go back to school and to have a fresh start. Though I would learn a lot, I believe a little experience before a masters is the path for most. To target what you really want, you need to gain a little experience in the field first before you sign your life on the dotted line.

1 comment:

  1. Experience is a DEFINITE must for this industry before you get a master's! KU Edwards actually requires that you have at least two years of full time experience before you apply. I have definitely benefitted from working on my master's while working because I can apply what I learn almost immediately.