Why did you choose to pursue a graduate degree?
I want to continue to grow professionally and academically. As an adjunct instructor at a community college, I cannot advise students to seek a bachelor’s or master’s degree if I don’t have one myself. As an IT professional with the federal government, I want to become a better leader and manager who can motivate and inspire fellow workers to perform at their peak.
Why did you choose Hood College Graduate School?
I was impressed and motivated by the “The Gap” speech presented by President Volpe and his administrative team to the incoming freshmen at the Honors welcome gathering.
What do you value most about your relationships with your professors?
I never expected the level of interaction and close bonds I would form with the professors at Hood. I enjoy the after-class hangouts with one of my professors because we get to understand each other’s culture and gain deeper insight into the importance of building these relationships.
What was your most rewarding class or academic experience at Hood? Why?
This is a straight-forward question. Surprisingly every class that I’ve taken and the two classes I’m taking currently are the best things that have happened to me academically. Professors encourage discussions and group-think. Working closely with people of differing skillsets, I was able to better understand and apply management skills learned in class to finish the project by leveraging the strengths of the individuals. In one of my current classes, I was able to use my infrastructure skills to demonstrate the concepts we are learning. This helps others understand clearly how the technologies work. I get the added benefit of seeing others say, “Aah, now I understand how that works.”
How do you manage your many other obligations such as work and family with the demands of graduate school?
This is probably the toughest part. I have a day job, teach two nights a week, and am taking classes two nights a week. When you hear what some of the professors went through for their doctoral degrees, then one is encouraged to strive to finish at any cost.
Can you offer any tips to prospective students?
Have faith and confidence in your abilities. Interact with professors and have a good relationship with them is critical. Stay focused and don’t waiver from your goals. Depending on your program of study, a graduate degree is anywhere from 10-16 courses. Taking a mere two classes per semester, you can reach this goal within two to three years. Build a good relationship with your professors. Their wisdom and experience will be invaluable.
When you aren’t in class, what is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?
Most of my spare time is spent strengthening my skills in my field. Having to maintain industry certifications requires a considerable amount of time to stay on top of my game. When there is spare time, I enjoy watching a range of shows from Law and Order to various episodes on the Discovery, Learning and National Geographic channels.