Graduate School is nothing like Undergrad: 5 ways it is more Rewarding


When talking to undergraduate students or even those in the workforce considering going back to school for their Master’s, I am always asked, “How is it different?” It is very different, and in a good way.

I waited close to three years between my bachelor’s and master’s. I chose to graduate with a double major in Business Administration and Marketing, continue working full time and make a dent in my student loans. When I was ready to start the process of applying to graduate school, I found out my employer would not pay for courses in “Marketing” because I was working in a technical department within the telecom industry (with the hopes of a marketing department transfer). Instead of getting a Masters in IT or being deterred, I went ahead and switched jobs and made my preparations for grad school. Looking back, this was a great thing. Not only did I get my Master’s, I avoided massive layoffs, seeing my employer investigated by the SEC and the collapse of one of the largest telecom companies in the United States. Gotta love the ‘90s!

The biggest concern I had about graduate school was the GMAT. I felt I never tested well. Once the test was taken, the results printed, I was on my way to two years of fun. Truly, I loved every minute of it. And here is why:

Level of Maturity
I was 25 and mature enough. By 25, you usually have your personality developed, aspirations in mind, goals set out and a picture for the future — what better time to devote about two years to bettering yourself? I had some professional experience under my belt, which would prove to be useful in my course work, and had a clear idea of what I wanted from my graduate program.

Career in Progress
I was not as concerned about hurrying and finishing my degree so I could get a “better job,” as I was during my undergrad years. I worked part time my freshman and sophomore years, and full time during my junior and senior years. I was so determined to graduate and get a better-paying job that I overloaded each term by taking 21 to 24 semester hours. This time around, I was making better money and was able to pay for each class as I took it. Not to mention, while in school, I could defer my previous student loans.

Industry Specific
Probably the main reason I loved my Master’s program so much was that each course was directly related to my area of interest: Marketing. What’s not to love about Consumer Behavior, Global Marketing, Marketing Managements and Promotions? Graduate courses are focused on topics you may have experience with or will have experience with as you develop your desired career. These courses also make readings, case studies and projects more relevant and applicable. In contrast, my undergraduate courses varied and typically were dealt with subjects I had little interest in until I reached my junior and senior years.

In my graduate career, I had some great instructors who took an active interest in me. The classes were smaller, and we were able to get to know one another better. Many of these instructors kept in touch after graduation, and ultimately it was one of my grad-school instructors (turned Department Head) who hired me for my first adjunct teaching assignment. These instructors see what you are capable of doing and can be a great source of information and guidance — they can also write killer letters of reference! Similarly, I was able to create friendships with my peers that transcended into valuable professional contacts. Now with social media, it is even easier to stay connected to instructors and peers, and explore networking beyond graduation.

Like-Minded Individuals
Have you ever felt out of place with friends? Most of my friends had very little interest in business in the depth I did. Most had careers in different sectors or were married with children. In grad school, I was surrounded by like-minded folks who shared my respect for education, valued hard work and had the potential to be thought leaders in my field.

I am not saying obtaining a Master’s or an MBA is a piece of cake and one big social party. It is hard work, but when the end result is one you desire and the topic of study is one you love, it really can be enjoyable. And don’t forget: There are plenty of organizations that value an MBA.

Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you from pursuing something so awesome! If someone you know if ‘thinking’ about a Masters/MBA, be sure to share this post with them.

Day 2: The Shoe

Well, I have officially finished Day 2 “training” for my first 5K. If you’re lost on how I went from writing about Social Media Marketing to also writing about running, catch up here. I value you as a subscriber, so know this additional content will have some social element to it, please do not unsubscribe! 😉

No outdoor running today, my little dude decided he wanted to build “Lego City” indoors instead of biking along with me, so we stayed indoors. But I assure you, at around 4pm he will beg me to go outside to “practice running”. Those in Texas in July know why this is a terrible idea.

5 year old Asics are better than my 1 year old " Cute "Asics..
5 year old Asics are better than my 1 year old ” Cute “Asics..

So, I began my short run on my Precor. For those who decided to try the 5k with me for the first time, how are your feet!? I ran for such a short distance this morning and on day 1 (I am embarrassed to even write it), and my toes are killing me this afternoon. So much for cute running shoes, cause they don’t make you run very cute. So I tried my old 5 year old Asics I ruined with enamel paint when we renovated my Laundry Room in Jan (more on that here, AND it is Social Media Marketing related). Interesting fact, did you know your feet can grow up to a full size when pregnant? Mine did, and I am still grasping the fact I am no longer a cute 7.5, apparently I am not even an 8!

Tip 1: Get a better shoe. Replace 5 year old running shoes!

According to RunnersWorld I need a few different pairs, so I am researching inexpensive but ‘good’ cross-trainers, in a size 8.5 and NOT 7.5. I have ordered a pair of shoes ($41) from Amazon and supportive socks; they should be here in two days. Thank you AmazonPrime! In the meantime I have been Googling about my toe pain and shin pain!

Tip 2: Take shorter strides to avoid Shin Splint, and possibly Stock up on KT Tape?!

Hopefully my new shoes come in time for my next short run, Day 3! I am very motivated and know I can reach my goal of running 5k in 60 days- I ran a decent amount of time today given the circumstances. I am hoping with some added comfort on my feet I will be able to meet my goal for the week, and easily add 1-2 minutes on next week!

And as usual, LoneStar CASA could use your donations for the 5k! Sponsorship opportunities are still open!
For more, click here.

Every Child needs a Hero, but Abused Children need SUPERHEROS!

I typically write about social media marketing related topics but today I am sharing something a bit different and bit more personal! I decided to run my first 5k, The SUPERHERO 5K, to benefit LoneStar CASA! This is a big deal to someone who literally lasts 2 minutes on a treadmill- I am not cardio fit even for a former Certified Personal Trainer!

Monday I started my “training” so to speak with my son (almost 5) who says he wants to take part. And I have not even told him we are both going to dress up as SUPERHEROS! He rode his bike, I ran-ish. He lasted 1.2 miles! So, I had an excuse to head back home. Here we are red faced and pooped after finishing:
Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 9.03.22 AM

I will periodically share our “training” with you Via Twitter, FaceBook, and this blog in hopes to inspire others wanting to try their first 5k! If you would like to join me, please comment below and I can share my (very easy) training schedule that only will require 10 minutes of your time the first week…. we will build from there to achieve a 30 minute jog = 5k! You may also want to view my Pinterest Board with helpful hints and charts to go From Couch to 5k!

I do hope you share this post as well as I am seeking sponsors for the 5K to be held on 11/1! If you, your business, or someone you know would like to be a sponsor, please let me know. Sponsorships starts at on $100. You may contact me (form at bottom of the post) or visit

Sponsorship Options
$5,000 Champion Sponsor
$2,500 Victory Sponsor
$1,000 Fantastic Sponsor
$500 Super Sponsor
$250 Defender Sponsor
$100 Caped Crusader Sponsor Booth
Secret Sponsorship (protect donors identity)
Volunteer on race day!
Other contributions (food, beverage, “race packet” items, etc)

All proceeds from the SuperHero event will benefit abused and neglected children in Rockwall and Kaufman Counties. Lone Star CASA is a registered 501©3 organization. Donations are tax-deductible. THANK YOU…

The SUPERHERO 5K benefits LoneStar CASA. CASA believes every child who’s been abused or neglected deserves to have a dedicated advocate speaking up for their best interest in court, at school and in our community. To accomplish this, CASA educates and empowers diverse community volunteers who ensure each child’s needs remain a priority in an over-burdened child welfare system. When the state steps in to protect a child’s safety because the people responsible for protecting them have not, a judge appoints a trained CASA volunteer to make independent and informed recommendations and help the judge decide what’s best for the child.

Here is a video from last years 5k