Final Reflections of a Graduate

Loyola Chicago Graudate Digital Media Storytelling Communications Masters Chicago

It’s all over.

No more commuting, no more projects, no more letter grades, no more tuition…

Earning a masters degree felt more intense than earning a bachelors because I was working full-time 40 hours a week for the first two years. The commute to downtown Chicago alone fatigues one who is coming from the suburbs. The classes were predominately at night, from 7:00PM to 9:30PM. I can recall crying near on a few occasions from sheer exhaustion and grief.

If you ask my family they will tell you that I was tough, and I was. I have been in the work force for nine years, I know I’m an adult and that’s how I approached the masters program. It was like a big job interview to me, I wanted to show what I am capable of as a professional and so my projects received high marks because I treated each project like a careerist would: an opportunity to show what I’m made of.

From day one my husband saw me go from a sort of ingénue and become a more seasoned pro. He was like one of my advisors, because he himself is in the field I want to enter. He kept me in touch with what’s at the front lines, and he kept me going through some of the hardest times.

The final year as a married lady was probably my favorite. For one, I left my 40 hours a week position and commuting everyday 1-hour each way, so I got more sleep. I also knew what I wanted to do and did it. I had learned the ropes, I was interning at the prestigious Starcom MediaVest Group and my capstone project kicked butt, exceeding many people’s expectations. I was really proud of myself in my last year, I felt more in control and less afraid. I enjoyed every minute and I took chances!

Martin Stock, delivers the keynote address to the School of Communication at the Gentile Arena on May 7, 2015. (photo by Natalie Battaglia)

One of the speakers at graduation was Martin Stock, CEO of ad agency Cavalry. He was hilarious and insightful in his address to us. He emphasized doing what you love and that’s probably the hardest thing to do. You are taking a risk doing what you love. It could be in a field that is very competitive and hard to get into. It could be a field that is unstable and with little benefits. If you’re not lucky enough to know what it is you are good at, and even if you do, you should do what gives you satisfaction. The worst thing, Stock said, was never realizing your potential. I never want to lose that spark that makes me want to try my very best. I never want to lose that spark that gives me the passion to develop new ideas. I never want to feel like I’m in a trap or in a dead end job. But above all, I don’t want to worry about making it big. After 7 years in higher education and almost twenty-six years on this planet, I’ve learned that the less I think about how someone else is doing, or how others will perserve how I’m doing, the richer my life will be. I’m going to do my best to focus on giving my all and enjoying the process. You don’t win life by being rich or having a ton of accolades or friends, you win life by finding balance. If working for a big media firm fits my life that would be wonderful, but if I find more contentment being a stay-at-home mom, that’s cool too. There’s a happy medium and I intend on achieving it.

Onto the next chapter.🔥

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2 Comments

  1. Nice! Funny, Marty Stock was one of the last guys I interviewed with before I took the Spark job. He was at Draft, and I ended up turning down their offer to take the Spark job. I liked him and how plain-spoken he was.

    Congrats, kid.

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