A few months ago, the muse appeared vis-à-vis a graduate program at The University of Southern California. A school that has always intrigued me, admittedly. A highly ranked institution, notable programs and professors, a killer dance team (love the Song Girls!), tons of school spirit, and very coveted admissions spots. “Hm,” I thought, as the Masters in Communications program found its way to me one morning. I decided to learn more and quickly connected with an admissions advisor who I just love. We talked about my educational and professional background, the program, the reasons why I am interested in pursuing it and whether I would potentially be a good fit. We realized after our conversation that I would be and Natalie gave me the next steps in the process. A statement of purpose, resume, writing samples, transcripts, letters of recommendation and a few other documents. It was through writing my statement of purpose (which I love) that I really defined for myself – why this program, and this school at this time in my life. I worked through the process, while being thoughtfully and skillfully guided by my advisor for two months before everything was submitted.
I am pleased and proud to share that…I got in! I was accepted to the USC Annenberg Masters in Communications program, which I am able to take online (with some live sessions and opportunities to be on campus) while I maintain my role at the most incredible PR agency ever. I am so excited! If I am being honest, I had told myself a story most of my life that a Masters program wasn’t for me. I wasn’t sure about many of the requirements, and it is far easier to see the potential reasons why something might not work out rather than why it can. So the fact that all things came together in this moment and even allowed me the bandwidth, perspective and tenacity to apply feels magical. Synchronicity at its best. Like a little wink from the universe. As though my ancestors are looking out for me, gently guiding me down the path of my curiosity. With a lovely USC advisor helping me to see all I truly have to offer my potential cohort and helping me focus on just the next important steps.
I am certified to enroll for the Fall of 2023. It still feels surreal to say it, and to know it. The next part of this story is the unfolding of how I will pay for the program. It is $2,244 per unit and the program has a total of 32 units ($71,808). That is the number that is needed for me to pursue this next level of education. When I was in undergrad, it was as easy as filling out the FAFSA, turning in your tax information and waiting for the grant money to be awarded. With graduate level programs, this is not the case. The aid readily available is through student loans, and that is not ideal. So – the next step is – I am celebrating the heck out of this accomplishment, grateful beyond measure for those who helped me pursue this goal (there were many), and excitedly beginning the next “pearl dive” so to speak, to see how the universe might help me uncover ways to fund this opportunity. What could I afford to pay? What scholarships might be available? Does the program offer any need-based funding? And maybe there are other super unknown surprises the universe could uncover to help me say YES to this opportunity.
It would be easy to revert to old patterns of thinking. Roadblock…$71,000…game over. To me, that feels like a great deal of money. It turns out to be about $10,000 a semester. But to the Universe, it is nothing. It could appear tomorrow. I could discover how I will pay for it. I could create a way to pay for it. I could uncover a way to pay for it. What is meant for me cannot be undone by anyone or anything, said a very good friend of mine years ago. I will do my due diligence to explore all the avenues that could make this next adventure come to life. I am also talking with those nearest to me about the variety of ways I can continue to grow my education, skills and experience in PR & Communications. There are endless paths that lead to what I want, each of them delicious.
More to come, and thanks for joining me on the journey.