Master’s Degrees: Are They Worth It?—Part IV: Opportunity

Here are all of the experiences I wouldn’t have had if I hadn’t enrolled in a graduate writing program:

  • I met and studied with Janet Fitch (White Oleander), John Rechy (About My Life and the Kept Woman), and L.A. Times film critic Kenneth Turan, among many, many other esteemed writers.
  • I oversaw the launch of our literary journal, determining content and design, navigating the publishing industry, and developing leadership skills—all on a steep learning curve.
  • I studied at Pembroke College, living in Cambridge, England, for three weeks, learning screenwriting from Antonia Bird (Ravenous), and tracing Virginia Woolf’s footsteps to the Orchard.
  • I added teaching to my resume, consulting at the Writing Center and now tutoring for an SAT prep company.
  • I served on the search committee for a new director, collaborating with the faculty and staff of our and other departments, meeting talented and qualified candidates from around the country, and shaping the direction of our program.
  • I quit my full-time job, took on some freelance editing, and started this blog.

With out these and so many other opportunities, my life—and my writing—would be exactly the same today as it was four years ago.

What experiences changed your life in grad school?

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