Good morning everyone.
As a graduate, I’m flattered to be asked to share my thoughts and experiences on the PR Intensive program.
When I first walked in here, I thought, “Is this classroom older than me?” I haven’t been in a formal school for about 20 years, so this room really made me feel young.
I want you to know that you’re never too old to go back to school. I quit my full time, steady, stable job just to be here.
Let me tell you more about what it feels like to be back in school full time after working full time for 20+ years.
You have tonnes of real work experience to tie in to everything you’re going to learn here. Whether you’re looking for a new job or improving your skills for the one you have, so much will click into place once you start learning in this program.
This is an intensive program, so you “get” the professionalism part. There will be multiple and competing priorities, many deadlines and lots of group work. These are all things you’ve probably had to do in your jobs before you came here.
When you go out to look for a job after completing this program, you likely won’t have to start at the bottom. The practical skills you learn here, combined with the skills you brought in will make you a stronger candidate in the marketplace. Plus, you already have a network to draw on for your new job search.
You’re going to find new strengths here. You might be a pretty good writer and you didn’t realize it because you’ve never had the opportunity flex that muscle before.
You might find some clarity. Your direction will become clearer once you get into the courses a little deeper. Maybe you’ll want to try the research career path but never thought about it until you started taking the class.
You will find that when you tell people you quit your job to go back to school, and how much you love it, everyone will say they wish they had done it too.
There are many reasons why everyone can’t do this. Or don’t do this. But you did. You found a way, and you made it work. If you’re in doubt, let me tell you again. You’re not too old to go back to school. You’re never too old to go back to school.
Next year when Nick asks one of you to come back and give a speech to the new class, and you’re in your new kick-ass job, make some time to come back and pay it forward.