When Adrianne’s blog came across my desk, I was immediately drawn into her post for a few reasons. The first being my complete gratitude for her service to our country. Her commitment is admirable, and to take on six-credit hours of graduate education speaks highly of her dedication to being a stronger, more intelligent woman in the armed services. Working full time and taking graduate-level courses can be a challenge, and I have no doubt that Adrianne balances her priorities well. Read more below to learn about Adrianne and her reasons behind earning a Master of Arts in Communication from the College of Charleston.
My name is Adrianne Schilling, and I’m currently attending the Graduate School of the College of Charleston. I am currently a 2d Lieutenant in the Air Force, stationed here at Joint Base Charleston as a Logistics Readiness Officer. That means that my story is a little different than many other CofC Graduate students, but it will probably sound familiar to those of you who work full time and are looking to get your Masters!
I graduated from the University of Washington in the spring of 2009 with a BA in English Literature. I can’t believe that it was almost two years ago! I received my commission into the Air Force at the same time, and moved to Charleston in the fall. Like many recent undergrad graduates, grad school was one of the last things on my mind. However, when I met with my boss on the first day and he asked, “So… when are you going to start your Masters?” I figured I should start looking at schools. Many military personnel choose to pursue their higher education through online schools, but I knew that wasn’t the route for me. I have a pretty short attention span, and I knew I needed the structure of a classroom to succeed. I also knew that I did not want to get my MBA, so I started looking at other well-regarded programs. This led me to the College of Charleston.
My first meeting with CofC faculty was also my first visit to the campus. I loved it! Nestled right in the middle of downtown Charleston, but secluded enough to still feel like a college, it had just the right mix. Coming from a huge undergraduate university, I was blown away by the flexibility and attention I received from the CofC faculty. Working full time and trying to get your Masters is a challenge, and the faculty of CofC has really been a huge asset in making it happen.
Now I’m in my second full semester of grad school, continuing with a six credit course load. While the North Campus where our classes meet isn’t downtown, it’s actually very convenient for the greater Charleston area. Not to mention that we all love the free coffee and occasional goodies from the staff! Living in Charleston is a huge change from Seattle—going from the Northwest to the Southeast has been very interesting. I love the weather (although the humidity mid-summer makes air conditioning an absolute must!), the beaches, and the people. Another great quality of Charleston is that there is ALWAYS something to do! Whether it’s visiting Summerville for the Flowertown festival, heading to John’s Island to visit the Firefly distillery, running the Susan Koman 5K out on Daniel’s Island, you’ll never be bored. Being part time, I will finish my Masters in two years thanks to the May and Summer semesters—and all in all, I can’t imagine a better place to do it!