Graduate Programs

Blogs from students, faculty & staff

Matt headLong before I told my family, friends, and co-workers I’d be leaving Michigan for grad school, I told my cookied confidant, Ms. GoogleSearchBar.

Those around me were good people who believed in me; I didn’t want to create a bunch of hullabaloo for something that might be a pipedream. I had a good job with great co-workers right after graduating from the University of Michigan-Flint. I was involved in campus and community activities. And of course, there was my family and friends. There were (are) a lot.

So I kept my out-of-state desires to myself…and Google.

Search engine: Business Education Master’s Degree

After plowing through paid ads and pages of wrong matches, I finally came across a few universities that seemed to match my desires. I bookmarked them and visited each day-after-day. I looked deeply at the degrees, each individual class even. How many courses are research-based vs. theory? Where would the observations take me?

I compared professor knowledge and experience. Excel got a workout with cost assessments of in-state vs. out-of-state tuition and potential scholarships. Is campus housing offered? Are there clubs and activities for grad students?


At that point, my search jumped the shark and I knew I needed to make some decisions. So I applied to a few. After getting accepted to my top two, I visited them: Marshall University in West Virginia near the Kentucky/Ohio border and the University of West Georgia (UWG) in Carrollton.

My unannounced campus visits were in the spring (beautiful blooming time in the south). Both Marshall and UWG welcomed me. However, I was at the wrong campus for Marshall. The majority of grad classes would take place about 50 miles from the main campus at the South Charleston location. Both campuses were impressive, though being separated from the activity of the hub seemed to tarnish the appeal of going away for college.

My next stop took me through Atlanta on my way to Carrollton. When I arrived at UWG I was in the wrong place too. Unlike the hour trip I took at Marshall, I would only have to travel 10 minutes, by foot. A nice lady volunteered to walk me to the grad office since I had never been on campus. When I got there, unannounced I remind you, the director of the program greeted me in person.

Dr. Jorge Gayton canceled a meeting to spend time with me. He evaluated my transcripts for waiver credits, showed me sample research projects, and explained to me the intricate details the website couldn’t properly describe. He even gave me a lead on a part-time job (and a UWG Wolves coffee mug J ).

Maybe it was because I was from 14 hours north or perhaps he didn’t really want to go to his meeting. But after getting to know Dr. Gayton, my feeling is he would have treated any potential student the same.

The extra effort he made helped sway me.

Upon returning to Michigan I began the undesirable task of shifting a life in Michigan to Georgia. My conversations with Google began to take place with my parents, siblings, friends, and my boss. A few years later I would graduate with my M.Ed. and become a UWG alumnus. As I look back it’s quite amusing to recall what started as innocent internet searches took me on the biggest adventure of my life.