Thoughts on doing a Masters degree and more.

I get a question about doing a  Masters degree in Creative Writing worth it? Is it worth doing a masters in Ireland vs. the US? And my thoughts on how employers view masters degrees not from stateside? Going to answer that now. Similar post here.

When I went to college I had no clue what I wanted to do with my career, I took tests that told me to be a wedding planner. But writing was always in the back of my mind despite my learning disability. I’ve been writing since I was 10, I had stories built in my head, notebooks filled with stories, my teachers would tell my parents I had good stories. But I also liked the idea of creating posters, design, visual, photography. Except the graphic design program was all drawing, I had no talent with a brush like my sister. So I went to school, majored in English with a minor in Mass Communication. When people would ask “Majoring in English with minor in mass communication” would roll off my tongue but the thrill was not there. I was in my last year of college, no clue what to do next, no real plan, the year was HELL on earth, and so I was going to take a year off to be Au Pair, to figure out what was next and what I wanted to do. Began blogging again more, took online writing classes, took pictures A LOT, and I decided I was going to go get my Masters in Creative Writing. I wanted to prove to myself and the people who told me I wasn’t going to graduate high school that I got a masters in Creative writing despite my learning disability. But also I wanted to improve my writing skills and communication, I wanted to not write a novel but to be able to write anything and any kind of writing which I did! So what happens when I did my masters, was it worth it, will it give me that job or was it just education?

Doing your masters

I went and got my masters degree in Creative Writing from University College Cork. I  knew I wanted a more independently, diverse, and I did not want to come out only knowing how to write a novel. I wanted to write, know how to write for screenplays for technical, for food, for radio, I WANTED to know how to tell stories in a variety of forms and genres.  I wrote a blog post all about how I felt about doing a masters program at UCC which can read here.  I am going to answer some burning questions of doing a masters and continues education.

A question I got is it worth it to do a masters in Ireland vs. the US?

Personally, yes because the program fit what exactly what I wanted to do, I liked the courses and their goal for the course I loved. And it was the school that accepted me. I think if you don’t know how Ireland schooling is, very independent, you might have a harder time going abroad, but if you are open minded, able to adjust and accommodate yourself you will be fine. I do think to be able to say you went and got yourself a masters in Ireland or anywhere other than the US is impressive and shows a lot of your ability. Now, will employers see it that way?  Another question I got is it worth doing it in the sense of jobs, the future, the “after” part? I will say…being able to go to a world-class University in Ireland was an opportunity and an experience like no other. Little did I know how it wasn’t going to mean anything when coming stateside looking for a job. More on that further in the post.

Another question I have gotten that was “do you think employers view the master’s degree there the same as one as the US?

Given that when I tell people I lived in Cork and they have no clue where that is, that might be a definite answer. UCC was a top college, was considered the best in the country, and in there ‘grading system’ I got a level 9 degree which is pretty high. But that might not “transfer” over stateside. Which is 100% frustrating because I thought going to get my Masters in Ireland and living in Ireland for two years will set me apart, it would show my skills and ability to adapt, open to learn and be independent. Further from the truth. Going to get a higher degree really does not mean anything if you are not going to be a doctor, in my opinion.  Except  going to University College Cork was the best thing I have done, it forced me out of my shell, I got more involved and made connections there the downside was at the end I was not going to stay, for personal reasons and VISA, that those connections weren’t going to mean anything when I came over here. I guess the one thing that was not only frustrating after doing my master was coming back and trying to find a job (if you haven’t figured that out).

I do not regret doing a masters in a different country. I think it honestly was the best fit for me, it worked well, I learned so much not only in the program but outside the program.

Getting that job after College 

Creative fields are usually unpaid, freelances, underappreciated work. Which makes finding a job, finding a position really difficult. Not only that but the process of getting a job is stressful. In my undergrad I did not think of doing anything that would add to my CV, the course never forced it.  I kept to myself, and my anxiety stopped me from doing a lot of things that I never realize it did. Doing my master broke that and changed that. And like I said it was hard because I made connections in Ireland and MN. The issue still is that you need experience but how you going to get that experience? What about actually trying to land the job? You’re either too under qualify or to qualify. I’ve heard it before that my generation is “spoiled” we have it easy and we think we should have things handed things to us. Yes I do say to myself ‘this shouldn’t be happening to me, I shouldn’t be here, I got a feckin Masters for god sake.” But I think we can all agree to get a job is not easy despite that there are “jobs out there.” And you can easily doubt yourself, question yourself, wonder was doing a Master’s worth it at the end of the day?

Despite all of it, it was worth it!

I avoided sharing this post because it’s not the “fluffy” truth. But the thing is when I hear people who are talking about there success like it was timing, they went through a lot of nos but not talking about those no’s and what they did; only focusing on the success it doesn’t feel right. I want to know what they did when they got so many no’s, what they did to keep themselves motivated and confident. Because those are what a lot of people need to hear sometimes. I do.

IF you want to know about study abroad here’s a blog post about that here.