Vanni Le talks The Annenberg Grind: Graduating early AND getting a Master's

As that overcommitted high schooler that religiously took AP and IB courses, I came to USC with enough units to graduate two whole semesters early. I also came to USC with a variety of interests from typography to PR to entertainment, and I wasn’t sure how that would translate academically. After all, the closest glimpse any of us get to those subjects in high school is our school newspaper/yearbook/TV station and AP English. How was I supposed to find a double major or minor that encompassed all of that?


When it came time to declare a second major or minor in my sophomore year, my interests had transformed into developed skills that I would carry to any job. I became proficient in the Adobe Creative Suite, had multiple PR internships, and networked with industry professionals. Despite my varied interests and Public Relations major, my interests flourished solely because of my time in Annenberg yet I felt that I had not taken advantage of every Annenberg opportunity that I could have. My choice was clear: to stay within the Annenberg family by pursuing a graduate degree in Communication Management.


USC offers progressive degree programs in which undergrads can begin working on their graduate degree while still completing their Bachelor’s. Progressive degree students usually finish their bachelor’s and master’s degrees within 5 years, but I was able to finish within four because of my AP and IB credit. It’s definitely not a walk in the park though: my first graduate class was the hardest, most frustrating, yet rewarding class I’ve taken, and it took very meticulous course planning and financial aid discussions. I will emphasize that the progressive degree may not be for everyone: you may find a passion in a double major or a different graduate degree outside of Annenberg, or you simply may want to go out and work for a few years before enrolling in graduate school.


However, if graduate studies in an Annenberg degree program entices you, talk to your advisor as early as 2nd semester sophomore year. Mandatory progressive degree information sessions are held in fall and spring semesters.


Vanni Le