I have always said that I will never go to graduate school for journalism. I never saw a point in grad school. My theory has been that it looks better to be out in the field, getting clips, honing your craft, etc. But lately, I’ve started to rethink a philosophy I have stood by for years.
Maybe it’s because I graduated a year and a half early, and I miss school. (Truth be told, that’s a major reason.) But also, I realized there are more aspects of journalism that can be learned in grad school than the reporting basics I blindly assumed were taught.
One of my lofty, most-likely-will-never-happen-but-I-can-dream-about-it goals is to start a magazine. I don’t know the first thing about running a magazine. Sure, being editor in chief of my college paper helped, but it goes without saying that that’s not nearly enough experience to (essentially) start a business.
First, I considered going back to SIUE to get an MBA in the School of Business. But after looking into the program and realizing I would have to take classes involving finance and accounting, I figured that was more math than any journalist should ever have to deal with. So I went back to the Mass Comm department’s grad program.
At first glance, I didn’t see anything that looked like it would benefit me. But then I came across the subject of “media management” and thought, “Oh, hey. I want to manage a magazine. This works!”
While the student loans will probably be terrible, if I can even find the time to go back to school, I am seriously considering applying. Being out of school for the few months that I’ve been a college graduate makes me really miss learning new information everyday. It’s such a shock to the system. When you graduate, it’s expected that you’ve learned everything you need and can go make a career.
But I can’t. I want to learn more. I need to learn more. I never want to stop learning about this industry that I’ve committed my life to. And it only took about five years for me to realize that grad school is an avenue that can keep people learning about the industry. It’s not really about the degree itself. It’s about gaining additional knowledge that will help you acquire skills to advance in the industry.
Sometimes I wish I would have realized that sooner because I may not have a chance to go back.