Watch CBS News

Master's Degree Brings New Opportunities For Graduates In San Francisco

Madeline Gonyea is a recent graduate from the University of Southern California. She earned a master's degree in public health and shares her experiences to pursuing her educational goal.

(Photo Courtesy of Madeline Gonyea)

Why did you pursue a master's degree?

"I pursued a master's degree in public health to strengthen my resume, continue excelling in education, and make myself a competitive and wanted applicant for the work force. Additionally, I have a love for education, and pursuing higher education after my undergraduate degree seemed like a natural progression."

What would you tell someone who is considering returning to school to earn a master's degree?

"Go for it. There is no time to waste. I would advise them that it is hard work but in the scheme of all, the large picture of life, only a small blip of time that can help you excel your career, increase your personal net worth, and that education is priceless. I couldn't recommend putting in the time, effort, and money to take the next step in one's education and personal development more."

What was the biggest challenge you faced when pursuing your master's degree?

"The biggest challenged I faced pursuing my master's degree was my age. When I applied to school I felt I was reading statistical analyses and facts about average age of acceptance, careers choices, work experience of applicants, etc. I felt like being 21 and applying to my master's degree was working against me. Additionally, on the flip side, of all the amazing individuals with colorful pasts and incredible life experiences I was applying against, my peers were headed down a different direction. No one from my immediate group of friends chose to continue with their master's degree after undergraduate; to some degree choosing my education felt like I was somewhat isolated. It was incredibly hard choosing my education over specific social and personal engagements I wanted to participate in my early 20's, but committing to this huge time, monetary, and challenging education experience has shaped me in to the person I am today. Do I regret the challenges and sacrifices I made for my master's? Not one bit!"

What was the biggest reward for earning the master's degree?

"Thus far, the biggest reward (besides having that diploma in hand) was being immediately offered a management level position from an established hospital in Southern California, prior to even graduating. The management position would allow me to oversee my own projects, have a team of qualified individuals assisting me, and putting my degree to work on a daily basis."

Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.