By Calvin L Miller
Web Content Contributor
After two years, my long journey of attaining a master’s degree is now complete, all thanks to Texas State University and its wonderful staff.
When I graduated with my bachelor’s in 2011 and relocated to Dallas, Texas, I floated around from job to job until I ended up accidentally becoming a teacher for three years. However, after five years in Dallas, I knew I wanted more. I began searching for ideal master’s programs, but nothing seemed to grab. I then sat for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and did better than I thought, but it wasn’t good enough for the school I wanted to go to, and I got rejected from them after submitting applications. One of those schools rejected me the next morning! A waste of $75.00.
As I began searching for new jobs in the Houston area, I found a job in Austin through a staffing agency, and in three weeks, I left Dallas for Austin. From there, I went around in circles until I ended up becoming a teacher, again, for three years. However, this time was different. I felt stuck, in a rut and without clarity. My goal was to have my master’s by 35, and so in the summer of 2019, I applied for a few schools, Texas State University being one of them. Their new graduate program, Marketing Research and Analysis, was just in its inception, and I was one of ten students who started in this brand-new program.
I applied to Texas State University before for a master’s in Public Administration and was accepted, but something told me the timing wasn’t right. So, I waited. Fall 2019 was perfect. From the Fall until COVID-19, I was commuting down to San Marcos from Austin in the evenings. It was tough, the drive alone was difficult, and the classes were a lot. But it would be worth it, and it has been. COVID shifted everything to remote, which was such a load off.
I finished my 2019-2020 school year as a teacher and resigned. I joined the KTSW 89.9 FM staff and began producing a segment series, a podcast, on the community relations team and worked on the web content team. And now, as I write this last article for KTSW 89.9 FM, my time at the school has ended. The remote learning option not only allowed me to finish out my graduate program without all the commuting, but I was able to finish from northern Illinois, where I now live and work. I moved back up here to be closer with family and help take care of my 85-year-old grandmother.
I want to say thank you to Texas State University and KTSW 89.9 FM. The Market Research and Analysis program was amazing. So many different skills were learned that I have already used in the real world, which really helps me feel that I have more to give to any company or business that I work for. I also participated in a 4-week class called the Export Fellows Program, which was amazing and opened my eyes to the world of imports and exports.
During COVID, I participated in the 24-hour global hack-a-thon, where I worked with three students from Europe on a project. We placed second. And now, I am working on a Fulbright application post-graduation to go to Poland to do a work-study research program for one year. Thank you again, Texas State, for all the opportunities this degree has opened.
I also want to say thank you to KTSW 89.9 FM for allowing me to produce content for the radio station for over a year. It was a blast, and I learned a lot. There’s always more to learn, but overall, the position has been positive. Thank you to all the staff and those who I bothered continuously with questions. I appreciate it more than you may know.
I want to leave anyone who may read this with some last words. Go for what you want. I don’t like the advice never to settle because that means you’re always looking for something better. But rather, don’t sell yourself short. If you’re in a job you can’t stand. Ask yourself why? And then leave and move on. If you think you can do more, why not do it? At the age of 35, I am finally beginning to do the things I’ve always wanted to do or at least try but was too afraid to.
In the end, who cares? When we look back on our lives, can we say to ourselves that we did everything we could, or will we be faced with that grim reality that we could’ve done more?
Life is difficult. There are many failures, safety is never guaranteed, jobs aren’t promised, success doesn’t come quickly, but the struggle makes the success all worth it. Thank you again, Texas State University, KTSW 89.9 FM, and the great state of Texas for my time down there. It has been an honor.
Take care for now.
Featured Image by Frank Jaquier via Creative Commons