Graduate School and the Drury Difference: Meet Summer Rascoll-Jones

Summer Rascoll-JonesI’m Summer, a recovering television journalist, event coordinator, and graduate student at Drury University. I recently learned that being “lost” can actually be a wonderful thing, especially when you have the “Drury Difference” backing you up.

I graduated with a bachelor’s in broadcast journalism in 2012 and spent five years moving up in the world of TV news. I was a producer, reporter, and anchor at four stations in three states. I loved reporting more than I thought I could love anything else- until one day I woke up and stopped loving it. Leaving broadcasting was the toughest decision of my life, but due to major changes in the industry, I knew it was time.

Then I found Drury. I had the opportunity to work as a staff member and complete my master’s at the same time. For a year, I sold the university to prospective families. I talked about “The Drury Difference,” how small class sizes and relationships with faculty enhance the educational environment. In the fall of 2017, I got to experience “The Drury Difference” for myself.

Summer Rascoll-Jones Texoma

I began working toward a Master’s in Communication with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership and Change. My first day of classes felt intimidating, I hadn’t been in school for five years. Pretty soon I realized everything I had been selling about Drury was true. Professors really do take the time to get to know you, care about you, and push you to do your best. Add in the fact that I was six months pregnant when I started the program and that is a combination I really needed!

Unlike many students entering a graduate program, I started out with no idea what my plan was for after graduation. Guess what? I still don’t know, but I have learned that it’s okay. This program provides opportunities to learn in a way that helps you understand the importance of studying Grad school classmatescommunication.

Every project or paper I have been assigned may be directly applicable to almost any career field. I have been introduced to influential community leaders through guest lectures and class projects. From CEOs to politicians, meeting these leaders reassured me that I will find the right opportunity when I’m ready. I am now familiar with careers I never knew existed and have learned about vocations I didn’t know I would be eligible to excel in. I have also taken classes outside of my Communication program to get a feel for alternative career options. This fall, I completed an MBA course, and I am about to start a course in the School of Education & Child Development. These interactions have been invaluable to my Drury experience. Not only have they made me more connected in the community, they also expanded my realm of understanding and opportunities beyond what I thought possible.

In May when Dr. Taylor places my Master’s hood around my neck I still might not know what’s next. I have not only accepted that but feel at peace with it. I know the skills I gained at Drury will take me anywhere I decide is right. After working in an industry where I always felt pressure to jump to the next gig as soon as possible, I am loving taking my time, learning about my options, and knowing that it will all work out.

Summer Rascoll-Jones

Update: Summer is now employed as a Learning Consultant at CoxHealth 

Jeff Riggins