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Student Blogger: Is balancing grad school and my PR job realistic?

May 12, 2011

In his latest Student Blogger post, Paris wonders if he should stick with his PR job, go back to grad school … or try to survive doing both at the same time.

paris mackey25 Student Blogger: Is balancing grad school and my PR job realistic?
By Paris Mackey

A lot has happened in my life lately – a lot has changed. As of early March, I’ve been employed by a global PR agency, which, for a long-time job seeker, is a dream come true! And while I should be jumping for joy and sounding the alarm, I feel torn.

So what’s the hold up about?

Right around the time I received the news that I was wanted for this new position, I also heard that I got accepted into grad school.  PR has never been my end goal. By that I mean that it was always meant to serve as a tool in conjunction with my ultimate goal: to work within the professional tennis sphere.

For those of you have dreams of working in PR as a career, particularly on the agency side, let me fill you in on the reality – it’s a busy and time-consuming lifestyle. For the position that I currently hold, a lot of things changed – I uprooted my life and moved down to Denver, which doesn’t seem all that challenging, when you consider I only used to live an hour North. A move, however, is never easy.

Even though this accelerated [grad school] program has the working professional in mind, I’m not sure it has the PR working professional in mind.

Now, three months into this position and getting more comfortable and well-versed in my role, I have a tough decision to make: Do I stay here to continue to grind, or do I bite the bullet and go back to school to get my masters degree in sports administration, full time?

Here’s the crux. You know that part of a job description that reads, “looking for someone with three to five years of experience?” Well as good as a masters in this desired field would be, without the PR experience to back it up, I fear I’d find myself in a comparable situation to the one I was in prior to March.

Here’s where the “best of both worlds (with a question mark)” comes into play. The university I got accepted to has an accelerated program that would start in the fall of 2012. This program is designed to allow a working professional to keep working and gain his/her degree in three semesters. While that may seem like the obvious decision, remember that part about agency PR being so time consuming? Even though this accelerated program has the working professional in mind, I’m not sure it has the PR working professional in mind.

My aim is to do both. My fear is that I will have to choose between one or the other.

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