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A Letter from Janelle Nightingale, Class of 2023


A Letter from Janelle Nightingale, Class of 2023

Janelle Nightingale Headshot

Dear Future Gaylord College Student,

I hope this message finds you in good spirits and brimming with anticipation for the incredible adventure that lies ahead. My name is Janelle Nightingale, and I recently completed my Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Digital Strategy. As I reflect upon my time in this program, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of wonder and pride for what I have achieved, and I couldn't be more thrilled for the path that awaits you.

The program is a fully online experience spread across five semesters or 20 months. It has been meticulously designed to accommodate the demands of full-time work, enabling you to strike a harmonious balance between your career and studies. This flexibility proved invaluable to me as I juggled multiple jobs and navigated the challenges of being a single parent. The program's adaptability allowed me to effectively manage my time and overcome various hurdles, including selling a home, relocating, occasional work-related travel, and addressing family emergencies. Life keeps moving forward, and this program recognizes and respects that.

Throughout the program, you will delve into a wide range of stimulating and rewarding courses. From Marketing & Media Analytics to Crisis Communication, each class offers unique insights into the realms of strategic communication and digital strategy. The combination of self-paced coursework and live online classes ensures a consistent learning experience while fostering interactions with both classmates and instructors. I found this blend to be enriching and engaging, and I encourage you to forge connections with your peers. Your fellow students will help shape your experience and provide unwavering support throughout the program. Forge lifelong friendships through this shared academic journey. In our cohort, we affectionately referred to ourselves as "The Wrecking Crew" and proudly hold the title of this program's largest graduating cohort thus far. We relied on one another through tears, laughter, disagreements, and moments of confusion, and together we triumphed.

One aspect that truly impressed me about the program was the caliber of the instructors. These individuals are leading experts in their fields dedicated to imparting their knowledge and expertise to their students. Their guidance and mentorship played a pivotal role in my journey, and I do not doubt you will have a similar experience.

Despite the inherent challenges of graduate school, I want you to know that perseverance and success are well within your reach. I managed to balance a demanding full-time career, including volunteer responsibilities as an Executive Director for an international organization, moving homes, teaching my teenager how to drive, and navigating personal hardships—all while pursuing my degree. I leaned on the unwavering support of my family, friends, and colleagues, and I clung to my determination and resilience. I hope my journey can serve as both an inspiration and a reminder that with dedication and hard work, you too can conquer obstacles and achieve your goals.

As you embark on this transformative journey, embrace this program's boundless potential. It is more than just a degree—it is an opportunity to equip yourself with the skills and knowledge necessary to advance in your career and positively impact the world. It is a chance to break free from past struggles and pave the way for a brighter future.

As you prepare for the upcoming semesters, remember that this is a journey, not a race. Immerse yourself in your studies, never hesitate to ask questions, and make the most of the abundant resources available to you. And above all, savor this learning experience. It is one that will shape you in ways you may not yet comprehend.

Congratulations on taking this remarkable step, and I extend my heartfelt wishes for success in your studies and all your future endeavors.

Warm regards,

Janelle Nightingale