On grad school and a new journey

Posted by on September 1, 2011 at 2:41 pm.

During the months leading up to my graduation from the Missouri School of Journalism in May 2010, one of my professors used a class period to remind us aspiring journalists that the industry wasn’t looking for just journalists. Sure, we could find a job as a reporter at a small-town daily newspaper or latch onto a TV station news crew, but our journalism careers would be short.

Instead, we should aspire to be individual entrepreneurs that excel at brand management. We must absolutely own the internet. In an industry that witnesses massive layoffs and buyouts each week, we had to develop survivors instincts to simply make it. Some of us, she hoped, would do more than make it — we would develop solutions to keep journalism profitable healthy and profitable for years to come.

Wow, that’s a lot of pressure. And it didn’t really hit me until a few months ago. The message is now clear: my days as a journalist could be limited unless I actually do something about it.

Much like any workaholic, I decided to enroll in nighttime grad school classes. A master of business administration degree from Washington University’s Olin Business School will, hopefully, help me make sense of the industry numbers. Maybe I’ll be inspired by innovation in my classmates’ industries, too.

Tuesday and Thursday nights will be filled with business classes for the next three years. I’ll learn about accounting, organizational behavior and business strategy while my social life dissipates to nothingness.

Please wish me luck, friends. It’ll be an interesting and rewarding journey.

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