I attended college a few years after high school; however I was working full time and had a full time schedule, which barely lasted a year. I left college and didn’t return until I was about 26 yrs old and was then considered an unconventional college student.
Packed with life experience and determination, I returned to school full time. My goal was to attain a master’s degree in counseling. I was going to major in psychology or behavior science for my BA, but after much research I realized if I didn’t get accepted into graduate school; I would have a degree that didn’t have much promise for work that I wanted to do.
As my backup career, I decided to major in Communications because I was already working in radio and enjoyed journalism. In addition, I could minor in behavior science so that I could still apply to graduate school for counseling and everyone uses communication in no matter what type of job they would get after graduating. My concentration was journalism and public relations.
As I began applying for graduate school, due to a turn of events in my life, I decided to apply to the school of social work and work towards the MSW degree (master’s in social work.) The degree has a lot of diversity, not only could I do social worker as a lay person, I could also counsel, and do administration. There were people with MSWs in politics and one person who was the president of the university I attended as an undergrad. This seemed much more diverse then school counseling, in which I also applied, but then decided to accept the spot in the MSW program.
I worked in social work for over a dozen years, taking a break towards the end and kept going back as I never exclusively used my communications degree in journalism or public relations, only generally as parts of social work duties.
Now that I’m writing again, I’ve found that my years of working on the college paper, learning how to do layout design, writing headlines, learning AP style, how public relations and marketing works – it just all came back to me, like riding a bicycle.
Through the years I’ve kept up on the changes in social media, social networking, content writing, how to write for online vs. writing newspaper and magazine articles have vastly changed. I’m able to use the foundation of my degree in communications to do what I love now, by working from home, writing, using social media to promote my work, and understanding SEO, and communicating with people from all over the world.
I’m also volunteering at a large non-profit organization, wherever they have a need. My education and experience is wide enough that I could be used almost anywhere and I’m quick to learn. This allows me to learn more about what’s going on in the various departments, meet a lot of people, and learn what it is that they do on a deeper level. I have a curious mind, writers need that, and volunteering in a large organization which has so many diverse cultures and worldwide effects continues to add to my understanding of communincation on many levels beyond what I could learn on my own.
If I had to do it all over again, would I have studied Communications and Social Work? Yes, both degrees have offered me a world that I might not otherwise had experienceed. These degrees are also timeless. While people can still study social media and computer graphics, the world is ever changing and we’ll all need to increase our knowledge base. However, communications and social work are about people, althoug methods change, we’ll still have a need for people to communicate with one another and help them cope with life’s challenges now, and in the future.