The ending of my grad school journey
When I graduated from college, one of my goals was to go back to school for a masters degree by the time I was 30.
Of course, like anything else, life just had to get in the way of that. Getting married, having kids, and my wife’s professional education all came along, which pushed my desire to go back to school onto the back burner.
I did finally get to start on my masters (and only 5 years past my original deadline) by taking the prerequisite courses offered by UMass Dartmouth’s Charlton College of Business. During my undergrad I was more focused on writing and public relations classes, so I didn’t take any business related courses. “Bah,” I thought. “I don’t get those numbers and junk, I’m more a words guy so I don’t need those classes!” Which ended up with me taking 500 level classes in accounting and statistics, not quite the easiest when you’ve been out of school for 15 years.
Thankfully I got back into the swing of things and adjusted to working all day, picking up the kids from all their activities at night, and then finally settling down to working on papers and assignments once all that was done. I recall looking at the course recommendations and thinking it would seemingly take forever to finish the curriculum. Yet here we are, just a few weeks from getting my MBA.
It’s been a worthwhile journey; absolutely stressful at times, but worthwhile all the same. I’ve met some wonderful people in my classes, many of whom are in the same position I am with the balancing act of work/home/school. Some of my professors were invaluable to helping me learn certain concepts and encouraging me to investigate other ideas (and some other professors… not so much).
My goal with going back to school was to learn more about the business world, how to best interact with other employees and understand the hows and whys of running an organization. I think it’s easy to say I’ve learned all that, and then some. Now that I’m at the point where I have just one group project to finish and one last final to take, I’m excited to finally be nearing completion. One of my secondary goals was to earn at least a 3.5 GPA, and as of the writing of this post I’m carrying a 3.92 and was inducted into the UMD chapter of the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society, a huge accomplishment as far as I’m concerned.
So what’s next?
Well, I’ll be glad to NOT have a tuition bill to pay for the first time in 5 years! Taking classes year round has been a bit taxing at times, and it’ll be nice to actually have the summer to relax (well, as much as I can, anyways). I can’t say that I’ll never go back for another advanced degree, but I CAN say that I’ll enjoy being able to not worry about another exam.
I highly encourage anyone who’s interested in furthering their education to give it a shot. Even if it’s only a class or two here and there, once you get back in the swing of things it’s a lot easier and certainly a lot more fun. I know I’ve enjoyed myself, and now I’m ready for the next challenge.