Graduate School, Work, Life: How do you “balance”?
Posted Sep 27, 2023
We are well into the fall semester by now, and we hope students and faculty are still feeling some of the positive energy and sense of hope that accompanies the start of a new semester. Over the past few years, the graduate directors have discussed the needs and realities of graduate students and adult learners.
Flexible scheduling helps students attend classes at times and/or in a format that accommodates their work schedules, and it can reduce or eliminate commute time.
Faculty who care about their students’ professional and personal growth challenge students to accomplish more than they thought they could while also providing personalized guidance and support when needed.
Relevant, forward-thinking programs that include opportunities to apply theory to practice help position students for advancement in their careers or transitions to new/next careers.
While these and other qualities of our graduate programs may align with what graduate students need or want, we recognize that at some point in the semester, students can experience a loss of the energy they felt at the start of a semester.
When faced with family, job, school, and other commitments we are often told to strive for “work/life balance,” but the reality can feel more like awkward juggling and perpetual imbalance. If you find yourself in need of effective strategies, consider those offered in the following articles.
- Balancing a Full-Time Job with School or a Side Hustle by Elizabeth Grace Saunders offers four specific tips you can consider during what she refers to as this “fulfilling yet busy time” in your life. She starts with “acknowledging the challenge.”
- Working It Out: Building Fitness Into Graduate School Life by Florianne Jimenez suggests that adding regular fitness activities to your “to do” list can make a positive difference in terms of productivity and your state of mind. Consider getting started by trying Otterbein’s Clements Recreation and Fitness Center.
- Staying in and Staying Healthy: Insights for Positive Mental Health in Graduate School by Brielle T. James focuses on the importance of addressing stressors associated with graduate school. Although her focus is on an academic Ph.D. program, the suggestions she offers are relevant to any graduate student.
Graduate Director Comings & Goings. As you might anticipate, over the summer we welcomed two new graduate directors and said “thank you, but not goodbye” to others. Amy Upp has joined us as the new MSAH graduate director, and Dave Stone has joined us as our new MBA graduate director. They may be familiar to you because each has taught for their programs in the past. Amy comes to us with a master of science degree in Health Promotion, a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, and continues to serve as director of corporate fitness and wellness in the OhioHealth Employer Solutions division. She is currently completing her doctorate in public health. Dave comes to us with a master’s degree in economics and a strong background in banking and finance, as well as teaching experience beyond Otterbein. Both came to us highly recommended, and the last few months have confirmed that they are the right people for the roles in which they serve. We thank Rob Braun and Kurt Lykins, former MSAH and MBA grad directors, respectively, for the contributions they made during the 2022-2023 academic year. Both stepped into their roles when much was happening. We needed and appreciate good thinking and consistent support for students. Thank you, Rob and Kurt, and welcome Amy and Dave!
Bridget M. Newell, Ph.D.
Associate Provost, Graduate Studies