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Glad To Be a Purple Grad!

By Patricia Bandar, MSC ’18

Graduation is usually the end of a journey, but ours was just the beginning. Overwhelmed with emotions was an understatement as to how I felt when the class of 2018 MSC students were all gathered, waiting for our queue to enter the Alice Millar Chapel. Looking around me, seeing everyone’s faces, and knowing that this is the end of a Saturday streak that we had going on made it a bittersweet moment. I was thrilled but at the same time I felt like I was saying goodbye to friends that have become more like family.

As I entered the chapel and looked around, I realized that I was celebrating a union of knowledge and power with front row seats! We said farewell to the faculty director, Michelle Schumate, and welcomed the new faculty director our very own professor Randall Iden. To top it off, we heard and enriching speech by our keynote speaker Tim Kazurinsky. At that moment I knew that my whole future was ahead of me, I felt proud and unstoppable.

Tim Kazurinsky, the keynote speaker, inspired us with an uplifting speech about his personal experiences and admired our diverse backgrounds:

“It turns out you’re a wonderfully diverse bunch, you hail from ten different countries, you range in age from 22 to 60, you represent twenty-four different job industries, seventy percent of you have chosen the gender female!”

Ending his speech, he reminded us of the resonating footprints we should leave as Northwestern graduates:

“What about you? What part do you want to play? Who is it you really want to be? Where are you headed? What is it you want to achieve? And how exactly do you want to leave your life?”

With that being said, I wanted to share some thoughts about graduation from the many different perspectives that helped shape our 2018 MSC cohort, and where their footprints will take them next.

How do you feel after Graduating?

“It was truly a rewarding experience, I am excited to meet the new challenges, and MSC has given me the skills I need to succeed.” – Denise Halverson

“I have to admit I had some post-graduation depression. Bittersweet, while I got my Saturdays back I did not get to see some of my favorite people every week” – Melissa Meyer

“After graduation, I feel both a sense of calm and a newfound confidence within myself.” – Sean Campe

“I feel accomplished, relieved, and utterly unsure of where the time went! But most of all, I feel excited about the ways in which this education will surely serve me in the future.” –  Sion Owen

3 words that sum up your MSC experience?

Rewarding, challenging, valuable”– Lauren Wilkins

“Encouraging, enjoyable, enriching” – Naomi Shay

Any resonating words from professors?

“I remember Professor Iden told me to forget about grades and put my real thoughts into my papers” – Berry Yue Zhong

“I clearly remember the advice from Andy Crestodina when he told me that No good response should ever be wasted in an email, view them as opportunities to produce and share content. Share your content with the world” – Robert Stein.

How do you plan on giving back to the MSC Community?

“I want to make sure that I take the experience of the MSC with me and spread it. Being a positive force in my community and representing MSC with distinction is something I feel strongly about. MSC has shaped me and I will honor that.” – Denise Halverson

“I plan to give back to the MS Community by participating in alumni events and possibly serving on supplemental panels like lunch and learn” – Kayla Jay

“I plan on giving back to the MSC program by attending alumni events and hopefully contributing to panels in the future.” – Elaina Kritikos

So many encounters, conversations and friendships helped shape my journey through the MSC program. From the beginning, I was welcomed by everyone and felt like I belonged at Northwestern. That alone was just the tip of the iceberg of what this program had to offer. Now, the most important question is, what am I going to do with my Saturdays? What can be more productive than attending classes for a master’s degree at Northwestern University? I guess I will have to figure this one out!