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.


Harvard Would Make Taking Oaths UberCool…

Hi there. Whether you read this in 2 hours or 2 years, I’m going to pull a George Washington and cite the day/month/date/year/and time of this blog post. It’s kind of special.

For the first time EVER I, Amanda Crawford Montgomery, University of Texas-Dallas EMAC graduate student and Social Media Specialist at Social Media Delivered, LLC am starting my personal blog. Rest assured I’ll have at least 15 blogs (thanks to Professor Kim Knight who made this part of her Introduction to Emerging Media and Communications Class), but my hope is to make it last indefinitely. Thanks for reading and I look forward to your thoughts. Today is Tuesday August 31st 2010, 5:27pm.

I am a Sagittarius. The Sagittarian’s tragic flaw is that they are long-winded. So the first thing I am going to avoid on this blog is my natural tendency to be long-winded with the exception of the above introduction paragraph. That had to be there or else you wouldn’t know a darn thing about me. I’m in a unique and quite remarkable position because I’m very fortunate that my graduate work studying emerging/social/and new media happens to be mirroring and feeding back into my professional career and the career is feeding back into the classroom. So this blog is literally about livin’ la vida new media because that’s what I do every day. My life is about living and new media; most of the time anyway—

While I try not to take myself, or anything too seriously, I do take certain things incredibly seriously. I value being a good citizen, hard work, dedication, and education. And it’s a shame that business, and more specifically the emerging media field, in its history and event more so presently have taken a bit of a hit regarding all those areas. But Sagittarians are also relentlessly optimistic – thank god for that redeeming quality.

I wouldn’t trade my job as a Social Media Specialist or going to UTD for my MA in Emerging Media and Communications for anything in the world. But leave it to Harvard to making ‘Taking Oath’ uber cool. Harvard’s MBA program does one small thing differently that my school does not…
They encourage graduating MBA students to take a sort of a Hippocratic Oath, pledging adherence to the principles of truth, integrity, and respect throughout the rest of their lives professionally and personally. Whoa.

What better way to start a blog focused around living a life inundated with emerging media but imploded with criticism and disregard for its credibility other than by applauding fellow academics who took a stand to do something right with their professional/educational aspirations and go beyond the call of duty. By the way, if you’re looking for the social media connection, check out how they’re promoting it:
MBAOath Blog
Local Campus Chapter

So here’s to the founders of the MBA Oath! I admire them for leading by example and for hopefully planting the viral seeds amongst generations to come who will hopefully spread the message about how it’s essential that we all strive to reach a higher calling, serve others before ourselves, and help make the world better.

I’m thinking about writing a personal Oath for myself similar to the MBA Oath to recite at my graduation. Maybe I’ll even create an Oath that will become inherent in the communications industry and be adapted by my fellow academics and colleagues? When you decide to live life for new media, music, art, politics, education or all the above – wouldn’t the world be better if we all took an ethical Oath which confirmed we would uphold a standard in our industry and then acted accordingly?