The “Other” Grad School: Life

There are many schools of thought on graduate school. Some people are all for it, others not so much. I’m in the camp that thinks graduate school is great, but without life and work experience it’s not as worthy. I’ve noticed a trend with a lot of students lately who finish their undergraduate degree and continue straight to grad school – no break, no real world or work experience. They have a lot of degrees, but when it comes to their experience they don’t have a lot to draw on professionally. I believe these students are missing out on the “other” grad school: Life.

I learned many lessons in college, but I’ve grown up in the real world. Although my passion and career is PR, I stumbled into this…it wasn’t my original plan. I went to school for broadcasting and mass media studies, worked as a producer and reporter for a few years and then decided I wanted to pursue PR. Everything I’ve learned about the industry has been by doing and by taking in what more experienced professionals have shared with me. What I’ve learned by working, networking and through the contacts I’ve made through social media is an education all its own.

There is so much to learn in the real world and so much information available online. Participating in discussions with peers, reading blogs, getting involved in FPRA and Junior League have all played a role in molding me into the person and professional I have become.

I have so much growing and learning left to do. Life is a continual education and your experiences shape and change you constantly. I believe in the importance and power of a college and graduate school education…but books can only take you so far. You need to open up your mind and take everything in…learn from life, from mentors, from every experience good or bad, planned or unexpected.

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