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Choosing A Graduate Program on Flexibility and Quality

Juniata Admission
Juniata Admission

Choosing a graduate program can be a daunting experience, especially in recent months. One of the critical factors is where applicants are in life (continuing student, married with kids). Students moving from undergrad to graduate often have an easier decision, choosing to stay at their current institute or guided by professors or future employers to select a specific program. For those who have been out of school for a few years, or even a decade or two, the vetting process (and ultimate decision) can be a bit more daunting. We often find flexibility, cost, time commitment (due to current work schedules and family), and culture are the top reasons for Juniata to be their final selection.

Despite recent challenges facing education, people continue to have career and leadership goals moving them to pursue graduate degrees.

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Careers in Organizational Leadership Grow! Here’s why.

Juniata Admission
Juniata College Admission

Most of us can agree on one thing- change is constant. Change across many industries and markets is leading to a surge of career opportunities in organizational leadership. Dominick Peruso, Chair of the Department of Accounting, Business, and Economics, states, “COVID-19 ushered in an era of need for systemic change and innovation within organizations. It has impacted everything from working remotely to employee recruitment. When you couple that with emerging issues in diversity, technology, and ethics, you can see why organizations are quick to hire experts in this area.” 

Before COVID, many publications shared that organizational leadership careers would remain in demand across the corporate, education, government, and healthcare sectors through 2026. As a result of COVID, this outlook has grown – with many professionals citing a decade-long upward trend. The reason? We have fundamentally changed the way we do business. Everything has changed; how we communicate with our employees, where they work, how we develop them for career growth, and how we deal with disciplinary action situations. So many of our leaders are specialized. Leaders focusing on organizational leadership (OL) are trained to develop frameworks for an organization’s success. 

So what does that mean in real life?

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Three and a Half Years of Firsts

Julia Newman
Julia Newman ’20, Professional Writing POE

My impending graduation has had me reflecting back on a lot of things lately. Three and a half-ish years ago, I wrote my first blog for Juniata. Now as I write my last, I thought it would be a fun full circle moment to revisit my first ever blog, aptly named “A Year of Firsts.”

My first year of college was one of much adventure. I met my two best friends, lived with my first roommate, gained and then lost the freshman 15, discovered many new passions, tried a million new things, and started figuring out who I was.

Rereading my first blog, I see that so many parts of it were true and so much has changed since I wrote it. I pulled a few quotes that I think are especially relevant to the course of my reflection:

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The Gambian Art Coalition – Part 2

In the summer of 2019, I spent five and a half weeks in The Gambia, West Africa. Three of those weeks were spent studying politics and culture with 19 other Juniata students, and two and a half were spent working for the Gambian Art Coalition.

As a sophomore at Juniata I became the co-founder of the non-profit organization known as the Gambian Art Coalition. Exactly one year later, (as of November 18th, 2019), I am knee-deep in organizing sales and presentations, working with interns and business professionals, and coordinating buying trips and budgets. Being the co-founder and Director of Communications and Marketing of an international non-profit organization was not something I thought I would be doing while earning my undergraduate degree at Juniata College.

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The Gambian Art Coalition

I went into my sophomore year at Juniata with a full schedule. Three jobs, two internships, and a full load of credits. Never in a million years did I think I would have the time or the ability to co-found a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) as an undergrad.

The NGO I cofounded with two of my great friends, Evelyn McCammon and Sarah Borgardt, is called The Gambian Art Coalition. It was an idea brought to us by Professor Nagengast in the Politics department. He’s been travelling to The Gambia for the past 15 years and has made many great friends amongst the Gambians.

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