I did it! ~ ¡Lo logré!

"If you wait for the perfect conditions you will never get anything done." 

Last year (2013) I decided to take on a new challenge.

After a few years of thinking about it, over and over, I finally decided to go back to school.

I graduated from San Diego State University in December 2007, and I was fortunate enough to start working in the field I studied for before finishing school. I became a television news reporter in San Diego during the fall of 2007, and I loved it. I got to meet a lot of people and do a variety of stories that made me a sort of “mini expert” in many topics.

After several years of working in the field and off the field - in the studio and in the newsroom focusing on digital journalism - I felt that I needed another challenge (not that being a reporter is not a challenge, it is very challenging since we are on deadlines all the time).

So, in the summer of 2013 I decided to pursue a Master’s degree. I researched different degrees and school options, but since I have been working full time, a traditional on campus program was going to be very difficult for me. At SDSU I would have to accommodate my work schedule to the class schedule or not work at all. USC was another option I considered for their online program but it was far too expensive. I finally decided on National University because one of my colleagues had done the MA program in Strategic Communications online there and recommended it to me. The tuition was comparable to SDSU’s but with the online program I was able to keep working full time without any problems and it was an intensive and faster program because it is a year long, rather than two. I decided to go for Strategic Communications because it is in a way related to my career in journalism and it gave me the opportunity to learn about the other side of communications.

I admit that when I started the program I was nervous and I did not know what to expect since I had never taken any online courses.

I wrote a post on my blog about this new challenge I was taking on with the hopes that one year later I would be able to write this post today – looking back at what I achieved. In other words, I was holding myself accountable so I would not have an excuse to quit or stop the program “temporarily” because of the pressure or stress of full-time work and school.

It was not easy. There was a lot of homework (writing, research papers, presentations, group projects). So, I had to make time for the homework and class participation. The good thing about this program is that the weekly  class live sessions (class times online) are after work hours (normal work hours, like at 6pm or later), but for me my work hours are a little odd since I work in news  - I usually work later than 6pm. Fortunately, my employer was understanding and allowed me to take some time once a week to go to class, which basically just required me to login to my student account and listen/participate in class online for about an hour. If I was unable to make it to class, I was able to watch/listen to a recording of it later on. What mattered the most was participating in class discussion boards and completing our assignments on time. Somehow I was able to manage for a year, and many of my classmates not only worked full time but had families to take care of as well!

Well, here I am one year later with a Master of Arts degree in Strategic Communications and I could not be any happier of the decision I made. I know that if I had not done this I would be regretting it today.

Remember that there is no such thing as perfect conditions to start something, instead, we make the conditions perfect by starting it. We must try and take the risk, otherwise we will never know if we can do it.


Now I leave you with these quotes, which I think are the best advice in regards to making a decision like this one: