I have been so excited about my new “Grad School Life” series where I interview different people from different fields on their graduate school experience! Please tune in to my IGTV on Wednesdays to watch live interviews!
Last week, I had the wonderful pleasure of interviewing, Jessica, one of my friends that I have known since my undergrad (13 years! Wow!), about her graduate school experience as an international student through her academic journey from a biology major in undergrad to 4 masters and a Ph.D. in Strategic Media. In case you missed the interview, you can watch all of it on my IGTV here or scroll down below to watch!
I wanted to share a recap of the interview to touch on the highlights and share Jessica’s information. If you have any questions, please leave a comment or message me or reach out to Jessica directly!
Jessica’s Blog: Mommie PhD
Jessica’s IG: @mommie.phd
A quick bio on Jessica:
Jessica is an American graphic designer and business consultant living in the countryside of the United Kingdom.
With almost 15 years experience in business, ranging from fashion to real estate investment, Jessica helps businesses organize business goals and grow their strategic media. Jessica has earned a BS (Biology) from Georgia Southern University, a MA (Fashion) from Arts University Bournemouth, a MA (Professional Studies) from Austin Peay University, an MBA (International Business) from Louisiana State University and is currently a PhD student (Strategic Marketing) at Liberty University.
Previously, she has worked as a fashion journalist for Sketchbook Magazine in London and is currently a contributing writer for various print and digital publications. Jessica is an expert on editorial standards for websites and graphic design, therefore her graphic design firm, Posh Paper, is a full-service design and consulting firm.
Jessica is an international member of the professional design association, American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), a recent recipient of the 40 Small Business Britain acknowledgement, and Posh Paper is an honored member of the Armed Forces Covenant.
As a loving mother of two little munchkins and a proud military wife, it is important to Jessica to help other wives and mothers with their design and business requirements and help others pursue their dreams of higher education. As a believer in having a great work-home balance, Jessica enjoys frequent international travel with her family, brunch with friends, and spending mornings (with lots of coffee) watching re-runs of Frasier and Murder She Wrote.
Wow! Jessica really HAS done it all! Here are a few of my favorite points from Jessica:
Jessica also provided some great insight about the application process for her grad school program from an international perspective. You can learn more about that in the IGTV video starting around 13:55.
Jessica was asked “what was your biggest adjustment when your started grad school?” Like most grad students, her biggest adjustment was time management. I think it is very clear that she has mastered the art of time management! She says that being able to dedicate the 20-25 hours a week during her masters programs and the (roughly) 40 hours per week as a Ph.D. student, on top of managing her business and being a super mom and wife, would not have been possible without detailed scheduling and organization. Her secret weapon has been using time blocking. On her blog, she has a great Time Blocking Workbook that you can check out here to help with your own time management!
Your Bachelor’s Degree Doesn’t Have to Define Your Career Path
From our interview, one thing that I thought was very interesting and SO important for those who are considering graduate school to realize: your undergraduate degree does not define your career and what you can pursue in graduate school. Jessica shared how it was her life plan to be an anesthesiologist and was a pre-med student in undergrad with a bachelor’s degree in biology. However, along her journey and in her heavy science-based courses she realized that that was not the career path she wanted to be on. She knew she wanted to pursue fashion and afterwards gained experience that would help her application for a graduate program in fashion.
Advice for Students Interested in Grad School
Go for it! Jessica said that students shouldn’t let the fears of not being able to have enough time or energy deter you away from deciding to attend grad school. Any one CAN and SHOULD! Jessica made the point that grad school is far more than just getting more letters behind your name. Grad school is an experience that is beneficial in so many other ways. It benefits in how you think, how you approach the world, how you approach your career, and how you interact with others. Being in grad school allows you to do more research in your area of interest, it allows you to ask more questions, and it allows you to contribute to the field in meaningful ways. There are so many resources to help students with time and financial management, so don’t let those worries get in the way of pursuing your dreams.
Thank you so much Jessica for taking time to share your story and give advice to those interested in grad school!
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Interview with Jessica, an American graphic designer and business consultant, about her grad school experience from an international perspective. If you have questions for Jessica, please just ask in the comments! @mommie.phd . . #gradschool #gradschoollife #gradlife #phd #phdlife #phdjourney #phdstudent #phdstudentlife #gradstudent #graphicdesign #graphicdesigner #businessconsultant #dayinthelife #adayinthelife