Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Back to that School Grind

If any of you have been paying attention to my blog posts, you might have noticed that the frequency of my posts has gone down recently. Well, there's a reason for that....I'm back to school! Yup, I made the decision last spring that I wanted to go back to school to get my masters. Of course, I had to apply and then hope to get accepted so in the beginning it was just a pipe dream, but luckily for me I was accepted.

The program I am taking is a Master of Organizational Management at Crandall University in Moncton. It's a really neat program because it is designed for the working individual. It is meant for those people who wish to work towards their graduate degree while maintaining a full time job. It's perfect really. Classes are one night a week for 4 and a half hours. We do 2 classes per semester and I think we graduate in May 2018 (I should know this but I have a long road ahead of me before I have to worry about that).
You're probably wondering what that jumble of words actually means, Master of Organizational Management? It's essentially an alternative to an MBA (Master of Business Administration) so while its focus is on business and management, it's more directed to working in government or non-profit organizations. To quote their website - because they say it so much better than I could - , it is "an alternative to the MBA in that it will focus more on working with, and through, people than on the technical aspects of business administration". I figured that it would be more suited to me than an MBA because with my background being in health sciences, odds are if I am going to use this masters degree at some point it will most likely be within the healthcare field. I had also considered doing a Master in Health Administration but in the end I decided not to as it was too focused on healthcare. That probably seems contradictory, because duh, I work in healthcare and just said if I was going to use the masters it would be in that field, but in the end I wanted to broaden my resume a little bit so that it could apply to other aspects of my life (aka agriculture).

So what made me decide to go back to school when I've only been out in the working world a little over two years? Well, a couple of reasons...First of all, I guess you could call it a "life goal". It is just something I have always wanted to do for no other reason than to say I did it. Secondly, I really do love to learn. I genuinely miss being in school, having a routine of studying and learning and working towards a goal. Although it is an adjustment, I am going to love the process! Lastly, and probably most importantly, career opportunities. Quite honestly, I do not have high hopes that I will ever get a job in x-ray. That might be a bit dramatic, I am sure I will get one at some point, either a part time or a full time 10 years down the road (if you knew the current state of medical imaging in New Brunswick, you would know that this is not an over-exaggeration). However, how secure that position would be is questionable - more jobs are being cut than created these days, gotta love that New Brunswick government *insert eye roll here*. Also, I am not bilingual which makes getting a job here even more difficult than it already is. So for all of those reasons I decided that I needed to do something that would give me a competitive edge and potentially make me suitable for a job somewhere else.

I am sure that some of you can understand how frustrating it is to go to school for four years taking something that you think will get you a job right away to find out, pretty quickly after graduating, that that is not the case. I was definitely na├»ve but it's still disappointing. I love my job and I love all of the people I meet while doing it, both coworkers and patients. However, I do want to be able to retire someday, before the age of 80 preferably. As frustrating as it is, I don't want to be one of those people that complains about something in their life but doesn't do anything to change it. So consider doing my masters as me doing something about it, taking the bull by the horns so to speak!

Alright, moving on! I am now 2 weeks into the program. The first 2 courses that we're doing are Organizational Behavior and Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics (that's a mouthful, isn't it?). My thoughts thus far; the professors are amazing. They are really great teachers and facilitators and you can tell they genuinely care about all of us students. They are also super understanding of the fact that we are all new to this whole, going to school while working full time thing, which is so great. I have to be honest though, it's tough. I'm sure that as I get into a groove it will get better but starting out I feel overwhelmed. It's so different from an undergrad. The professors are more facilitators of knowledge than actual teachers as it was in undergrad. We are expected to do the assigned readings and come to class prepared to discuss them, which is fine, but it's not just reading for the sake of reading, it's reading for understanding. If you've done an undergrad then you can appreciate why this took me off guard. Also, there are a lot of readings! Like I'm talking A LOT! And then we also have assignments to pass in each week and group presentations throughout the course, as well as term papers to finish off with. Now, after the initial shock I can say I do love it. I love being back to school and having higher expectations of me. I'm still not sure that my thought processes are at that of a Masters level but I'm sure I will get there. It's a process right?! I just have to keep reminding myself that if this was easy it wouldn't be worth doing and that it will all pay off in the end.

Due to the fact that I am back in school, working full time, and trying to help Scott out at the farm some, my posting frequency on here will be down some. I am going to try to post once per week though and I will definitely keep you updated on how I am making out with school. See you next time and have a great week!

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