I had recently been accepted to the Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University, the leading media, journalism, communications and marketing school. While many of my peers are entering business programs this fall, I am taking a different route.
Here are five reasons why I am enrolling in the IMC program this fall:
1. I am passionate about media. Media reaches people and delivers information to the masses. Media allows people to connect with each other, their communities, and the bigger world. I would even go as far as saying that it can greatly improve lives. I am excited to discover what I can do as a marketing professional to bridge private, public and governmental sectors.
2. Producing content is another passion point. Being a creative writer in college, I love content– both its consumption and production. I love going through the process of creating something. How will people consume news information in the future now that print subscription is in decline? People won’t stop consuming information; in fact, they will only increase consumption. The vehicle may need to be updated, but the currency (content) will not go away.
3. Big shifts in media, technology and globalization shows that there will be ripe opportunities in the future. Media vehicles are evolving and I want to be part of that change. The shakeups are also ambiguous, uncomfortable and incredibly difficult. What technologies will be made to address these changes? How do people abroad react to these changes- when big multinational corporations and media companies are moving to their backyards or placing the spotlight on them?
4. Deep specialization is what I need in my career at this point. My entrepreneurial spirit compels me to pursue my interests and curiosities, and I am proud of the experiences I’ve had thus far. Though not entirely linear- there were definitely pauses and times of despair- I realize everything culminates in my position right now, and I want further develop myself to be a better consumer insight specialist. In the future, specialization in an area is needed, as well as fluency with analysis of “big” data, and I am preparing myself for that future.
5. Lastly, and the most important for me, I was the first in my family to graduate from an American university and will also be the first to enter graduate school. Ever since I was a kid, I knew I would be going to graduate school. While the subject matter has changed through time, the determination to improve myself through higher education has only intensified as years went by. I am at the right time to go back to school- more experienced, more mature, without committing to long-term responsibilities yet. And I’m in Chicago, home to Northwestern, the top media and marketing school.
While it was the only program I applied to because it fits right with my goals, schedule, location and desire to be challenged, it wasn’t that easy to come to this decision. It is a big decision to commit to in terms of time, energy and resources. I have eight tabs in Excel that range from “Pros and Cons” to “Decision Matrix” to “Program Goals” to “Degree ROI” (yes, I did look deeply into this decision qualitatively and quantitatively), and benefits of the degree outweighed the trade offs (time and money). At the end of the day, the ultimate decision was inspired by the fact that I will take every opportunity that comes my way if it helps me grow and allows me to impart more of my talents to others.