What is your current job title?
Student Services Manager, MEDEX Northwest Physician Assistant Training Program
Who is your current employer?
University of Washington
Why did you decide to return to school for a master’s degree?
I have always had a love for sports and athletics, and have always dreamed of working in the sports industry. I have also always wanted to go back to school, but was struggling with the direction that I wanted my education to go. When looking for positions in the sport industry, I began to see a pattern that many positions and employers preferred a Master’s degree, and some required it. After this realization, I began to look at returning to school with more seriousness. Upon searching, I found the Gonzaga MASAA program, and saw that there was an online option, which would allow me to keep my current employment, while obtaining the education that I desired, as well as an on-campus program. I spoke with an admissions representative, and he assured me that the education would be the same (on- or off-campus). With that, I decided that this was the best fit for me, and took a chance at applying for the 2014 cohort. I was pleasantly surprised with my acceptance, and am excited for what the future holds upon my graduation in August, 2016.
How did the online learning experience compare to your expectations?
To be completely honest, I was terrified to go back to school (it had been 10-years since my undergraduate education), but I really should not have been. Blackboard is very straight forward, and easy to use, and the program flows with such ease, that it was very easy to get back into the swing of things. The module system allows for students to study and get assignments done in a block of time that works for someone who lives a very busy life (work and home), and allows for an individual to come up with a schedule that works for them (within the constraints of the module block). All in all, it is a very good pace, which allows for “life to get in the way” a little bit. I would not change a thing.
What was your internship experience like?
I was lucky enough to obtain an internship with the Washington State Interscholastic Association (WIAA), which was a very rewarding experience. Throughout my internship, I had many responsibilities, such as making sure the online results for all games were accurate, helping prepare state championship programs, updating the WIAA website, as well as assisting with the social media and bracket updating for all state championships. The people I worked with were amazing, and the internship led me to learn that the WIAA (or a similar organization) would be an ideal organization to work for.
How has this program made an impact on your job, career, or personal life?
This program has given me the skills I need to successfully balance my home-life, work-life and school-life. Through many of the courses, I have been able to utilize concepts learned in my current role (even though it is not in the sport industry). Above all else, this program has helped me to understand that it is OK to do something for yourself, and to follow your goals and dreams.