Why I chose to study my masters
Choosing whether to do further study after an undergraduate degree is a big decision. I wanted to tell you a bit about my reasons for doing one, and give you some tips for success if you decide to go for it.
Most undergraduate degrees, including mine, are very theoretical and descriptive. In a lot of cases, a masters could be completely unrelated to your undergraduate degree, but in a field that you think you could excel in. For me, my undergraduate degree gave me a good idea about the industry I wanted to be in, but at the same time, I felt like it did not fully equip me to succeed in the industry. I knew that I wanted to do a masters because it would not only give me confidence, but it would also give me the in-depth analytical skills to add my perspective to the theory I already knew.
When it came to it, a lot of factors went into me choosing to do a masters. First and foremost, I thought that a masters would help my chances of getting a good job. I thought it would help me to gain more industry knowledge, and be more capable of handling more advanced responsibilities for an organisation. This is because you gain a more rounded perspective of the discipline, which helps you approach it in a rather smart way.
I also thought a masters could help me to gain more clarity into understanding what is it exactly that I want to do. It would also help me in gaining a lot of professional contacts, especially at a university like Leeds Beckett where it is a very practical learning experience. In the end, I chose to study Public Relations and Strategic Communication. This masters gives me the benefit of specialisation. I think it will give me a certain edge when applying to an organisation. This is because I’m sure it will stand out on a CV if you show that you have studied the subject that you love in great depth.
Tips for Success
As you can tell, I think studying a masters is a great idea. All that being said though, it’s worth remembering that is not always easy. It can be time consuming, challenging and at times it requires a lot of effort. If you are like me, and are doing a master’s immediately after your undergraduate degree, it also takes a certain effort to get out of our old studying habits. For a postgraduate degree, it is about studying smart, reading around the topic and analysing it.
My biggest tip to anyone who is planning to pursue a masters is to make sure you have adequate time to do it justice. Have a schedule, plan ahead of time and get into the habit of reading. Organisational skills are paramount. It is easy to procrastinate and say “I will do it tomorrow” but when the assignments pile up, it will be rather difficult to execute them well on a time crunch.
If you are planning to pick up a part time job during your studies, I would suggest to wait until a month into the course and figure out how much spare time you get after you finish your coursework, and pick up a job accordingly.
With assignments, keep aside at least a week more than what you think you will need to complete each one. That should leave you that bit of cushion for the days that you are tired, ill, or simply can’t function productively. The library is an amazing place to study too if you have a tendency to get distracted. Bulk u on snacks and coffee, pick up your books, and sit at a corner of the library you feel comfortable in. I assure you, before long, your assignments will be well underway.
The best tip I have is that you should learn to de-stress. Find out what it is you love to do, and make sure you do it! You should also learn when to take a break. Make sure to add in a day or two of rest into your calendar per week, plan a fun night out with your friends or maybe just a quiet night in with Netflix and ice-cream. This will ensure that you continue to be motivated about your course and the ideas keep flowing. If you’re feeling stressed and pressured, or you don’t have a break, you will burn out which is never a good thing!
In the times that you feel tired, demotivated or simply frustrated, try to remember there was a reason you chose to study a masters. Don’t forget this –it will help you to stay focused. And finally, don’t forget to enjoy yourself!