Exactly one week ago, I submitted my final human resources-themed paper for my last class and am graduating from my master’s in public administration program through the Penn State World Campus! I cannot believe that a year-and-a-half has gone by so, so fast. Before I decided to take the leap and go back to school to get a secondary degree, I was at a crossroads: do I stick with my professional track and see where it takes me? Or, do I start figuring out what it is I really love? I’ve heard that if you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. That always sounded like an awesome proposition to me so I decided I better figure that out. And fast.
Choosing to get my degree through Penn State World Campus has helped me discover that. While discovering what I loved – working with and on behalf of homeless pets – was always the point, I benefited in other tremendous ways from this experience.
- The connections. I’ve met so many great people. From faculty to classmates to administrators, the people I’ve connected with will be friends and networking contacts throughout my entire career. There is even one special friend – my girl Taryn – who was not only my Research Methods Partner in Crime but is also my GoogleChat buddy, and keeps me company on long days at the computer. She’s also getting married in less than two months. Shout out alert: Congrats, Taryn!
- A tablespoon of educational appreciation – check. For me, college was something that I did because it was the next stop on the education train after high school. Consequently, I breezed through it without really getting out of it what I should have. Coming back to Penn State to get my master’s degree allowed me to appreciate what I was learning because I was finally ready to do so.
- Blogging for the Corner of College & Allen. This little blog alone has been a great sounding board for me to reflect on how getting my master’s helped me find my way professionally. Getting a degree online can still be a misunderstood educational decision and this forum gave me the confidence to stand behind my choice and be proud of it. Bonus: I was able to participate in really fun events, like a question-and-answer session with Penn State basketball Coach Pat Chambers.
- Community engagement. Last summer, I vacationed to a little, secluded island an hour outside of Jacksonville, Florida. During a late evening stroll down a nearly empty beach, I was rocking my Blue & White Society shirt. And, as I am about to pass the one other person walking down the beach, I see this person’s arm nearly shoot out of its socket, while making a fist, and then hear “WE ARE.” This fellow Penn Stater, too, was rocking a Penn State shirt and wearing his school spirit on his sleeve. I always love to tell people this story because it speaks to the size and enthusiasm of the Penn State community. WE ARE everywhere. Literally. Even on remote islands outside of not-so-large cities. While it’s been a tough, turbulent year because of significant failures in administrative leadership, WE ARE still proud to be a part of a place that always strives for academic excellence.
My experience as a Penn State World Campus student has been nothing but positive, worthwhile, and more than I could have hoped or expected it would be. If you squeeze the juice out of this orange, you will get honey. Yup, honey.
To other summer 2012 graduates, what was a defining experience during your time at the World Campus? Oh, and Congratulations!Leave a reply or subscribe to this post feed - RSS 2.0