I’m two weeks, one assignment, and one last project from proclaiming that I’m a master. Well, I have my masters. Same thing, right?

Graduation Cap and Diploma on White with Soft Shadow.

I spent this semester having to show on why I got this degree in the first place. My capstone project was a portfolio that required me to show evidence of my completion of competencies. Really, it was just a chance to reflect on my time in school. And I’m good at reflecting.

Six years ago, I decided that I was sick of being a secretary and that I needed a new job. I knew I had to go back to school because that was really the only option available to me. I tried looking for other jobs, but become an executive assistant didn’t appeal.

I researched various continuing education programs and other trainings as well as masters degrees. I honestly knew that I would fail doing a MBA because I didn’t believe myself to be business savvy. So you could say that I landed on a masters in library and information science or MLIS.

Many people, and businesses, don’t put much credence in this degree. Libraries are dying. They’re out of money and the field isn’t really one that is quick to accept more people. Going into it, I was blinded by blog posts that hailed this field as one that would be open for newcomers with all the retirees. So, I applied to three schools and didn’t get in to any of them. Even after I took the GRE.

I applied to a distance learning program and was accepted to begin January 2010. I was excited and nervous. Even as I started my coursework and began volunteering on the weekends at the local library, I thought that maybe I’d found my calling.

Two and a half years into my program, I finally realized that it wasn’t the library science side that really interested me—it was the information science. Reading analytics and understanding those processes and how people found information—that’s what I was passionate about. My focus of study changed and started to fill this passion and need.

So, yeah. Maybe I have to defend my choice of degree often, even to my family, but I can tell you that it’s probably the best thing I’ve done.

But I’m REALLY glad that it’s over next week.