I had an exciting thing happen this week. I finalized my enrollment in Liberty University’s online master’s program in strategic communications. It’s been about a year in the making. It’s finally happening, and I couldn’t be more excited.
I wrote a few weeks ago about when grad school is worth it and when it isn’t, and in this case, it is. God has made my calling in writing and communications very clear over the years, and earning a master’s degree in marketing will help me succeed in that calling.
In high school, I started noticing that I processed information better by writing it down. If something noteworthy happened in my life, I felt compelled to write about it. I decided to start a career in journalism and declared that as my major in college.
When I started to get tired of writing and thought about pursuing other opportunities, God closed all the other doors. At the same time, He flung doors to writing opportunities wide open. And not just any opportunities — ones I couldn’t resist. An example would be my sophomore year of college when Leeland came to lead worship during a special chapel. I was thinking about taking a break from writing, but the opportunity to interview them for the school paper came my way. I took the assignment without a second thought and never looked back. It’d been a long-time dream to interview a Christian band.
Even when I started to worry about supporting myself financially through writing, God would bring more opportunities my way, resulting in a larger paycheck every month. He sent me to Washington, D.C., to study and intern and even to Boundless and Focus on the Family for another internship. Over the years, I’ve felt like God is saying, “This is what I’m calling you to do, and I’ll take care of you in it. Trust Me, and follow My leading.”
Now I work in marketing, but I never took a marketing class in college. I’m still writing, as the community college district launched a new magazine when I came on board. But I’m also doing a lot of other things that are all new like working with advertising. Through the online program, I’m so excited to start learning about launching and managing strategic campaigns in print and online advertising and social media.
I never thought I would go back to school because when I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, I was stressed. It took me a while to adjust to life without the constant rush of working for the school paper, interning for the alumni magazine and taking a full load of classes every semester. But after a few months, I really started to miss academics.
I’ve always enjoyed school, particularly when I was able to take classes that interested me. That was one thing I loved about college: I picked my major, and most of my classes were actually ones I wanted to take. Even when I finished college, there was still so much I wanted to learn that my degree didn’t cover. I think we should all be lifelong learners regardless of whether or not college is a desire or an option.
We always have something to learn about God. We always have something to learn about ourselves and who we are in Christ. We always have something to learn about life and the world around us. And we always have something to learn about the things God calls us into. For me, that’s writing and more recently, marketing.
Did you go back to school while you were working full time? What are some of your tips for balancing work and your social life with school?