Speaking a little more colloquially than usual, it should be known that I love grad school. This may sound strange because sometimes loving things that can challenge you is not our first inclination. The Masters in Communication and Leadership has definitely made me work hard. Now that I am almost done, I am being asked what the advantages and disadvantages of going to graduate school straight from undergraduate school are. Here are the first couple that come to mind:
It was easy for me to recall my knowledge from my undergraduate curriculum to apply it to this degree. The theory explored in the Comlead program builds off of those that I learned in my first four years of college. They are explored in a much more intensive manner, but having acquired that knowledge more recently seems to make it easier for me to remember it. I have found that my peers invest a little more time brushing up.
One difference between those of us who have continued straight through to graduate school versus those who are returning to school, is the type of insight brought to discussion. While I may have the advantage of having an easier time remembering theory, I don’t have professional experience to pull from. Listening to my classmates who have been working for ten of fifteen years talk about the practical application of what we are learning is awesome. It brings a perspective to the content that I don’t have. Understanding the relevance of our curriculum in a real world setting makes it easier to see how, for example, our leadership strengths and weaknesses can impact the way that we communicate and operate in an organization.
I was grateful that I came into grad school straight from undergrad because it made the transition a little bit easier. There was no adjustment for me because I have not yet experienced the schedule or routine of a full time job. As I creep closer to commencement, I must admit that this is something I am looking forward to.
Another wonderful aspect to grad school is that there is no such thing as a traditional student. People decide to return to school, or continue their academic career, at their own pace. This means there are people from a variety of professions, varying tenure and unique perspectives. I look forward to graduating, but I couldn’t be happier with the academic experience I had in the program.
So this is my unabashed plug for the MS Communication and Leadership. I haven’t even mentioned the amazing caliber of professors, but I don’t want to overdo it (I may have already). If you are interested in seeing some of the work that we do in the program, come to the capstone presentations:
Saturday, May 5th, 2012 from 11am-1pm
Canisius College Richard E. Winter Student Center
Grupp Fireside Lounge, 2nd Floor