Commencement season always stirs up emotions for me. One, nostalgia for university life and the simplicity of being a student and two, the uneasy feeling that I’ve been resting on my laurels for too long and need to wake up and smell the master’s degree. I try not to beat myself up because I have reasonable excuses.
I often refer to the Pumpkin as my walking graduate degree. Certainly, I knew having a child was going to limit the time I would have for personal pursuits. But now she is old enough where we can do mommy and daughter homework. Additionally, I can set a good example of academic best practices. Fortunately, the program is offered online and has flexible timing. I will basically be going to school during my lunch hour and at home.
I used to be a decent web designer with lots of freelance projects and no need for an additional degree. Now, not so much. The world of web design has changed and because I am in-house, I have not had the business need to keep up with it. My focus now is user experience, adaptation of existing interfaces and project management. I have grown, professionally, to be in a position to pull all the pieces of a web project, produced by other people, together instead of having to produce those pieces myself. Going forward, I want to become a person that oversees enterprise-level web projects and I am finally in a place where acquiring a master’s degree makes sense.
To get to that level, I need much more active project management knowledge and a network of other project managers I can rely on for advice. Coincidentally, the M.S. in Project Management is an intimate program, with small class size, that encourages collaboration and network building. One of the best things about Drexel is that it promotes and supports practical education with real world experience. Another great thing about this program is that the subject matter is packed with practical knowledge, built on what I already know, that I am going to be able to use at work from day one.
The final hurdle was money. Education is expensive and I didn’t want to take on another student loan while we’re still paying off Frank’s. However, besides being a great place to work, where I actually love coming in every day, one of the nice perks about being here is that I can get this degree for free.
So, there are no more excuses. I don’t even have to take the GRE. I would be really stupid not to get the ball rolling so I am initiating project “M.S. for Suzanne” and working on a timeline and milestones. Needless to say, I have to prioritize and drop some of my other projects but when I look at what I have to gain, it seems a no-brainer.