Graduate Studies

. Graduate Study Challenges and Strategies for Personal Success Christine Z. Liwag University of Phoenix Pursuing a higher education in any field of study can be very challenging to any person. It requires a lot of hard work, time management, support issues and organizational skills. It also takes a lot of courage and determination in order for a person to be successful on obtaining a master’s degree or even a doctorate degree. Being able to manage time and stress level together with work and family management are essential in successfully completing graduate school.
A master’s degree student should have a full dedication and be able to balance the demand of work schedule and school schedule. Students who are married with kids should have a strong support system from the spouse and the children in order for the stress level of going to school and balancing family time and work be lessened. One of the many reasons on why I am pursuing a higher education in nursing is to be able to expand my knowledge in my profession and gain more learning experiences so that I can do more for my future patients.
Another reason is to be able to make a difference in the nursing industry. My short-term goal is to be able to pass every class that I will take for my Master’s degree and to have a full time job as an RN so that I can start having experience in the hospital. My long term goal is to become a professional and be good on what I do so that I can share my knowledge to patients, nurses and other member of the healthcare field. Another long term goal of mine is to become a nurse anesthetist and to work in a higher position.

Some of the challenges that students like me often experiences are high stress level from work, family and school, lack of time management and the process of taking the classes online. The high demand of work schedule and the time that a student spends at work gives a student less time to complete the tasks that the graduate school requires. According to Wild, J. , (2008, pg 454), “Time is an important resource which has to be managed effectively whether it is at home, at work or study. Time, unlike other resources cannot be increased or replaced.
Poor time management can lead to increased costs and mistakes and is a major cause of stress”. The amount of stress level that I am receiving from my job at UCLA is a little bit high compared to the amount of stress that I get from graduate school. Another challenge for me is the process of taking all my classes online. In order for me to overcome these challenges, I need to be able to manage my time accordingly to reduce stress, organize my tasks starting from work to school and at home and become more confident and comfortable in taking online classes.
My strategies for time management are to create a work schedule and school schedule. I plan to create a calendar in which I can write down the tasks for every hour of my work and school. Becoming comfortable taking online classes is also one of my goals. My strategy is to explore the website and know the functions of every tab, links, and to figure out how the classes are going to be held. For this one, I attended a new student orientation and it helped me explored the things that I will need to do once the classes starts. According to Ramos, J. (2011, pg 283), “The traditional on-campus graduate learning classrooms have historically consisted of daily face-to-face interactions with instructors and peers, class lectures and discussion groups. Learning, in the on-campus tradition, takes place at the physical site of an institution. Furthermore, face-to-face interaction with peers, faculty, and school administrators is part of the traditional on-campus graduate school experience”. To achieve my short term goal, I will make sure that I always keep up with my academic workload and make sure that I completed every task and learn all of them in order for me to pass every class.
I am also applying to different RN jobs right now so that I can get the experience I need as a registered nurse. The steps that I needed to complete to achieve my long term goal is to first graduate from master’s degree and earn more experiences working in the critical units of a hospital. Effective communication with other students and with the professors is one of the key to a successful completion of graduate studies especially when doing it online. Maintaining personal communication to groups and always updating each other will lead to an effective team work and good academic standing.
According to Burt, C. , Westrate A. , Brown, C. , Champion, F. , (2010, pg. 649), “Engaging in time management, particularly planning behaviors, can also contribute positively to group performance”. However, there are also some weakness and strengths in finding an effective communication. Some of those weaknesses are the time difference of every student in one online class. Another is the lack of time to log in to the student website to check messages and the time spend to respond on emails.
To improve communication and to reduce the conflict when communicating, students should log in to the website regularly and check messages and emails in a timely manner. Overall, personal success in finishing graduate school is easy to obtain as long as the person is dedicated and passionate enough to make it work no matter how busy the person is. With enough time management and organizational skills, it will become easier and doable as students gets close to graduation. References Burt, C. , Westrate, A. , Brown, C. , & Champion, F. (2010). Development of the time management environment (TiME) scale.
Journal of Managerial Psychology,25(6), 649-668. Retrieved February 18, 2013, from the EBSCOhost database. Ramos, J. (2011). A Comparison of Perceived Stress Levels and Coping Styles of Non-traditional Graduate Students in Distance Learning versus On-campus Programs. Contemporary Educational Technology, 2(4), 282-293. Retrieved February 18, 2013, from the EBSCOhost database. Wild, J. (2008). Tips for learning: effective time management. British Journal of Healthcare Assistants, 2(9), 454-455. Retrieved February 18, 2013, from the EBSCOhost database.

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