What to Consider in Calculating Grad School Return on Investment - Gabrielle Lamourelle

In Chapter 10 of 21 in her 2010 Capture Your Flag interview with host Erik Michielsen, global health consultant Gabrielle Lamourelle shares the inputs involved in making a decision to return to graduate school and study for a Masters in Public Health or MPH degree. Additionally, she elaborates on key factors behind her decision to attend a full-time program instead of a part-time one. Lamourelle graduated with a BS in Sociology from University of California at Berkeley and a Masters in Public Health (MPH) in Sociomedical Sciences from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. 


Erik Michielsen: When you were looking at calculating the  the investment and associated return on investment you would receive with a masters of health degree, what did you consider?

Gabrielle Lamourelle: I considered the economic cost up front and balancing that against what I could hope to earn in future jobs if I have that MPH degree. I also thought about the difference going back to school full-time and going to school part-time and continuing to work.

Erik Michielsen: What made you decide to go back full-time versus part time?

Gabrielle Lamourelle:  One of the major issues in deciding to go back full-time was whether I could really focus my attention on my education.   And I wanted to really get the most out of the time and the money I was putting into pursuing a masters of public health.  I knew that I needed to go full-time to not split my attention and be torn between work and school. I could have continued working at my former job um but because I was very invested in the work that I do there, it would be nearly possible for me to feasibly scale back my work to really do - commit to twenty hours and only work twenty hours.  And that I would end up sacrificing some of the focus on my education if I did go to school part-time and while I worked full-time or vice-versa.  So I decided to go back to school full-time.