How he managed to graduate while working full time:
I took two classes a semester. It’s helpful that I could take one online and one in-person because online classes are more flexible.
How graduate school was all in the family:
My wife Corey and my brother were also working on master’s degrees in education at the same time I was. We all supported each other and talked about our work.
Advice for someone considering a master’s degree
I wouldn’t say ‘Oh just study anything, it’s free.’ Speak with professors or go to an open house about programs you’re interested in.
Why he was curious about the local independent music scene:
I won’t think twice about spending $80 and driving down to Philly to see a big named act, so why was I hesitating to spend $5 for a show around the corner after work?
About the graduate certificate in documentary film:
It’s really worthwhile if you are already in a graduate program. It only requires a few extra courses and the skills you gain can be used in any field.
How her classes were like a trip around the world:
I took a course on contextualization and globalization in education where my classmates were from Russia, China and Nigeria. I learned so much from them.
On gaining support from you supervisor:
My bosses have all really been great. If you’re proving that you’re a trustworthy person who gets your job done, it’s not a hard sell for your boss.
How she pushed away negative thoughts:
There were times when I thought to myself, ‘I’m never going to finish this.’ I really have no idea how I pressed on, except that I would just get that email that said, ‘It’s time to register’ and I would just say, ‘OK, I have to do this.’
On balancing full-time work, EMS shifts and the MBA program:
It was a good busy. And I was even able to use my EMS background in a statistics project. We used regression analysis to determine factors that impact response time on campus.
What she wants employees to know if they’re considering the MBA:
I feel like I’m a broken record with my co-workers because I’m always promoting the program, but one piece of advice would be to start now. There’s never going to be a “right time,” you’ll always find reasons why you’re too busy. The Flex MBA program really is flexible. Just start now and do the program that’s right for you. Take the jump.
On how faculty meet the needs of staff members in their classes:
Because the Education Leadership program is mostly geared toward K-12 educators, I was the only higher education student in my school law and ethics class. My professor took extra time to find higher education case studies for me to read and then talked through them with me. They are really willing to work with you and make it work for your needs.
I co-taught a class with Sarah Stanlick during the spring semester and loved the dialogue and the push/pull in the college classroom. I don’t know, a PhD might be further down the road. For now, I’m just enjoying reading for fun again.
What was the most nerve-wracking part?
I had to learn to make presentations. I’m not usually one to stand out in front, I like to fly under the radar. But they really throw you right into it in your first class. We had to do a “TED talk.” I did mine on the history of the Turkey Trot because I love talking about Lehigh history and it was the 60th anniversary of the race.
How did you make it all work?
I have four kids. While working on my MBA we had a college graduation and a high school graduation. So it was really busy.
I had to learn to let things go a little bit. Maybe my house wasn’t as clean as I thought it should be. Maybe we ate out a little more. The hardest part was when it was sunny and our pool was open but I had to stay inside to work on a paper. It was worth it, though, and I finished in the top 20 percent of my class. If I can go back to school at 49 and do that, anyone can.