This page features a collection of in-depth interviews with alumni of Purdue University’s Master’s in Communication program. To help prospective students get a better idea of what the program has to offer, we asked eight graduates who completed their degrees between 2013 and 2019 a range of questions related to their experience in the program and how it has impacted their careers. Below you will find detailed insights from Purdue alumni Lillian Feder, Maddie Holmes, Diane Jackson, Megan Kendall, Marcy Lendaro, Daniel Mikkelsen, Chelsea Moss, and Kristen Olson, on why they chose Purdue’s Master’s in Communication program, the program’s structure, their experience completing their thesis, the best advice for future students, and more.
Purdue’s Brian Lamb School of Communication offers a campus-based Master’s in Communication program with areas of study in Health Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Organizational Communication, Public Relations, and Media, Technology, and Society, as well as an online program with an emphasis in Strategic Communication. To hear what actual graduates have to say about the school’s communication programs, check out the interviews below.
Interview with Chelsea Moss - 2016 Graduate
"One of the most impressive things to me about this department was that multiple people told me how it’s not a competitive environment. What I mean by this is that there are plenty of opportunities for everyone... and everyone wants everyone else to succeed at their work. After being a part of the program for two years, I can say that this was by and large quite accurate. I also loved the flexibility of the program to really make it into what you wanted."
Interview with Daniel Mikkelsen - 2019 Graduate
"I ultimately chose Purdue because it offered the two areas of communication I was interested in: health and interpersonal communication. Additionally, several of the faculty had research focus areas similar to my own. My final reason for choosing Purdue was the financial support the program provides through tuition waivers and a generous stipend when you have a teaching assistantship."
Interview with Diane Jackson - 2019 Graduate
"I was interested in the idea of teaching undergraduate courses and the freedom that Purdue’s program offered in that regard was very appealing to me. Purdue’s program allows its graduate students to choose what courses they want to teach and to be independent instructors of record, where they can design their own materials, choose the textbook that they will employ, and have total agency in the classroom. That kind of autonomy was not something that I saw at any of the other programs I looked into, particularly for master’s students."
Interview with Kristen Olson - 2018 Graduate
"The program developed in me the professional and critical thinking skills that are vital to my success in the workplace. The ability to be adaptable and bounce back from criticism come directly from my thesis experience; everything else I attribute to my time in the classroom in both teaching and learning roles."
Interview with Lillian Feder - 2019 Graduate
"I chose to pursue a master’s degree in communication to sharpen my critical thinking and inquiry skills. I wanted to learn how to conduct rigorous academic research, both qualitative and quantitative, and was interested in deepening my understanding of communicative mechanisms through building a stronger theoretical base in the discipline. I believe I was able to do all of that while at Purdue and feel more prepared to now reenter industry and practice public relations with a stronger skillset."
Interview with Maddie Holmes - 2019 Graduate
"When I was exploring other schools, I took notice of program size and type. I really liked that Purdue was big enough to have a lot of diversity. Graduate students and faculty both studied a really impressive array of topics... At the same time, the program was small enough that I didn’t need to compete for funding or my advisor’s attention, and I was able to form relationships with a lot of our faculty."
Interview with Marcy Lendaro - 2013 Graduate
"Purdue definitely prepared me for the latest developments in communication technology in that it created in me an eternal student. I am thankful to continue to grow in my communication skills and develop myself... I think that a Purdue master’s degree has opened doors for me in addition to teaching me how to think critically and deliver excellent work."
Interview with Megan Kendall - 2018 Graduate
"Ultimately, it was the new student welcome weekend where I made my decision [to attend Purdue]. Meeting the students and faculty introduced me to a challenging program that offered a lot of academic and professional opportunities, and a group of people who were encouraging and supportive of my interests."