Why Bother with an EMAC M.A.? I’ll Give You A Reason Why and then some

Where are the sewing kits and baking instructions?

When the 2010 Fall Semester began in August, I had lunch the first week of class with an old friend who was in town on business.  After catching up about summer travel, family, and football as the caring friend they are, she asked me how my grad school program was going…

It’s going really well.  I am so thankful I began working on an Emerging Media & Communications Masters.  UTD has a great program and my summer classes were awesome.

You’re getting a Master’s in Emerging Media & Communications at UTD? Are you taking Twitter 101 as a core requirement?” She laughed and took a bite of her Spinach salad.

Not exactly.  It’s a little more complicated than that.” I retorted, and then we changed subjects about whether Nordstrom Rack was having a sale or not.

When I looked at this week’s scheduled readings, dear old EMAC6300 was covering ‘Shifting Models in Knowledge and Learning Part Deaux’.  The above conversation from August immediately sparked inspiration.  As my classmates, are any of you wondering why in the world you’re pursuing what some ignorantly tote the Twitter 101 Degree?  I’ll confess that I’ve had to defend my program’s validity more than once, and I did it with gusto.  Those who jabbed fun at the Doctoral class I took this summer on Bob Dylan are also dense on other matters of life but I let their judgments go and I have no problem expressing why.  I want to hear your reasons as well so feel free to jump in whenever via ‘Leave a Comment’

Applying to this program at UTD was quite literally a blind leap of faith in the purest sense.  A fellow intern was in the Undergrad program and when I was lamenting about applying to graduate school she made mention that UTD had a similar program to what I was looking for, it was brand new and modestly priced.  I made an appointment to meet Julie Larsen that day.  I applied, got accepted, took a Doctoral level Summer School and wouldn’t change a single iota of these decision to save my life.  I love my job and am incredibly satisfied professionally but the moment you stop learning outside your work environment and growing as a professional and individual that’s when one falls behind and will forever struggle with playing catch up.  That reason alone is why I am proudly earning a Masters in Emerging Media & Communications.  Tweeting as part of class participation is cake icing.

Yes, we discuss Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and other social networking sites as a cultural and technological force but guess what?  We also discuss Aristotle, Freud, Moileré, Mozart, Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Steve Jobs.  My classmates and I have heated debates about everything from blogs, architecture, Sasha Baron Cohen, Marvin Gaye, Jay Z, Chris Brogan, The New York Times, Paste Magazine, Perez Hilon and as you can imagine that list goes on for quite a while.

We are in a fraternal order deemed with the task of banding together to better understand the never ending, evolving technology and how it relates back to communications.  We do Tweet in class because if we didn’t we wouldn’t be able to give feedback or collaborate as quickly as we do.  If that’s not enough to justify how my program is helping support how education, knowledge and learning are changing then I don’t know what is.  If you’re an undergraduate getting ready to graduate this Spring allow me to offer a bit of unsolicited advice: Graduate.  Take a year off and go work, consider what you want to specialize in professionally, apply to 2 or 3 graduate programs in February a year later, go to graduate school and never stop learning or continuing to grow.  The EMAC M.A. illustrates the entire reason why we should never stop extending our education.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. npluim
    Oct 27, 2010 @ 14:35:49

    To continue learning was the same reason I decided to enroll in Grad School. I felt that after I graduated and began working that I was falling behind. Good point on how the EMAC program relates to productivity. When I introduced Google Documents to my group in the SOM, they talked more about the Google Docs than the project.

  2. Mark W Schaefer
    Oct 27, 2010 @ 22:05:05

    Loved this post. Sounds like you are having fun and meeting some great folks. Keep me in the loop. Will love to hear about how it goes!

  3. Kknight
    Oct 28, 2010 @ 11:30:21

    I feel compelled to note that this was an unpaid advertisement – haha!

    Can you be a bit more concrete about what value you are finding already in the program? What specific things have you learned or what ideas have been fostered as a result?

  4. Carol Welker
    Nov 03, 2010 @ 01:08:46

    Great post Amanda! I truly think EMAC has more relevant cultural significance than most programs out there. Not only are we learning how technology is changing EVERYTHING about the world we live in, but we are also learning how to use the tools so we can truly be well-informed contributors to Collective “Intelligence”.

  5. missnesbitpro
    Nov 04, 2010 @ 14:29:20

    So far, even though I’ve only taken 1 official EMAC class (this one) and am on my first semester, I am loving the program. My opinion might change when I get further into it, but I don’t think it will. Most people I’ve talked to don’t really know what it is that I’m studying, but once I explain it to them, they think it’s really cool. I got into it because the publishing world is going more and more online, and so I didn’t want to get a traditional journalism degree. This sounded perfect AND it’s right down the street from where I work. Sounds like a match made in heaven!

  6. sydniem
    Nov 15, 2010 @ 10:20:24

    I decided to continue my education after some time spent working for another company. It seemed a natural choice to pick the EMAC program after reading the description. Having studied historical communication through art,what better way to further my education then to study the social implications and effects social networking is having on human communication?

  7. gagner de l'argent
    Jun 03, 2014 @ 09:30:09

    Asking questions are truly fastidious thing if you are
    not understanding anything fully, except this paragraph gives
    fastidious understanding yet.

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