Tuesday, April 1, 2008

School will be over in one month and I cannot wait. I'm actually marking off a calendar, counting down the sessions.

One question I get asked a lot, after: 'What are you going to do with your degree?' is: 'What are you going to do with all your free time?'

I smile and respond 'write, of course."

Unfortunately, some people do not understand how important writing is to me. They fondly call it my 'hobby,' never thought I'd hate that word. But there it is.

Yes, I love writing. No, its not just a hobby.

So back to the topic at hand, I hadn't realized until the school schedule had been redone and I was forced to take last semester off that I'd committed the ultimate sin as an author. I had not written a thing for over two years. No wonder school was driving me crazy...not that I wasn't already crazy to begin with.

And even though, I won't be jumping up and down, waving my degree at every employer alive, does that mean my graduate studies was a total waste? I think not, the experience has been beneficial to me personally, if not professional.

So, what have I learned from the MPA program?

In addition, to the small amount of extra knowledge about public employment, I already work in government. I have gained other skills that are more valuable to me:
  1. I am a better public speaker. Now don't get me wrong, I still get very nervous when it is necessary to speak in front of large crowd (the patois comes out). But I have learned to relax more quickly.
  2. I am better able to articulate myself.
  3. I defend myself and my ideas more now. I don't just bow and say 'whatever you like" (Coming to America reference).

So, I might not have garnered any vast knowledge from my two and a half year stint in graduate school. But I did improve my interpersonal skills. And that is worth something.:-)

So, what about you? Is there an activity, process, or program you were involved in that provided you with skills beyond the intent of the program? What was it?

3 comments:

Kelly Kirch said...

Skills? Do it reeeechoir skeeils to write summit? You must be jumping outta your pantaloons to get a shot a writing again. Like coming home to an old friend. I have butterflies for you just thinking of it.

Amarinda Jones said...

Nothing comes immediately to mind...its a combination of stuff over the years. As for public speaking, I don't get nervous. And I was interested in what you would do with your degree as I have a BA and I've never used it

Anika Hamilton said...

Amarinda...Not one gosh darn thing. I also have an Accounting degree I did nothing with. I just keep collecting the damn things for no good reason.

Kelly chile...I am happy and nervous and scared.