Spring term, the last term of a four year, undergraduate college education, is rapidly approaching. As seniors about to graduate we are faced with many difficult decisions: Do we move home and live with our parents? Do we travel around Europe for the summer? Do we get a job right away? Do we continue school and get a master’s degree or MBA?
Here, with the help of Les Potter, author of Les is More, I hope to aid you aspiring PR practitioners in the grad school, master’s degree, MBA decision making process. Les recently blogged about this process and offers great advice on whether or not to attend grad school, how to decide, figuring out why and choosing where. Check out his blog post for the whole story.
Les’ advice, that I second, is to ask yourself why do you wish to have a graduate degree? Your answer will lead you directly in to the next important question: in what do you wish to obtain a graduate degree?
Choosing a graduate program can be difficult. Tiffany Derville, assistant professor of Public Relations at the University of Oregon, recommends that students with a background and /or formal education in public relations may prefer the route of an MBA. Professional business skills can be a great asset to public relations knowledge. For those students who do not have formal education in the area of public relations a graduate degree in communications or specifically public relations can become extremely beneficial.
Here’s a tip: go work for at least three to five years in the real world of public relations before making a final decision about graduate education. This real world experience can hone your goals and objectives for your professional experience in public relations and provide you with hands-on experience that will help you in your later studies. Within those three to five years you might even find a job that offers tuition reimbursement programs for education that would further your business performance. Les recommends this in his blog and Tiffany seconds the recommendation.
The real world of public relations is out there ready and waiting for us future grads. I suggest we all take Les and Tiffany’s advice and experience this world for a few years. We have enough decisions to make in the next few months, so if we don’t already know that we want to attend graduate school after graduation, maybe we should take those few years of real world experience to figure it out.