Graduate Study Challenges and Strategies for Success

Students face many challenges when pursing graduate studies. Setting goals for oneself is a good way to map out what they want to accomplish and also a way to help them overcome challenges when they occur. If a student takes the time to make a list of what challenges that may arise and how he or she will overcome those challenges, this will also make for smoothing sailing during graduate studies. Also possessing good communications skills are also the key ones success. Goals

Pursuing my master’s degree was something that I always wanted to do since graduating from undergraduate college but, for the longest time I was unsure what I wanted to obtain my degree in. Recently, in my life, I have hit a roadblock in the job market and decided it was time to look at going back to school for a career change. I contemplated many areas and decided health care was a good, sturdy field pursue. After making the decision to attend the “University of Phoenix” for a master’s degree in Health Administrations, I set a few long-term and short-term goals for myself to help me achieve what I set out to do.

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Goal setting is an important component of students’ motivation, self-regulation, and achievement in academic settings” (Psychology, 2009). Long-Term Graduate. I not only want just to graduate from the University of Phoenix but also want to graduate with 3. 5 GPA or higher. Graduating with a 3. 5 GPA will make me feel good about the education I received and will also look good on my resume when it comes time to find that dream job. Get a Job. Before graduating I want to have a job in the health care field.

Even thought I am pursing my master’s degree I know I will need to start out in an entry-level position and work my way up because of my lack of background in health care. Getting my foot in the door at a hospital or private facility, in an entry-level position will give me the start I need to end with the career of my dreams. Short-Term “Short-term goals are smaller steps that move you toward a long-term goal” (Carter, Bishop, ; Kravits, 2007). I have set a few short-term goals for myself to achieve my long-term goals.

Grades. For me to graduate from the University of Phoenix with a 3.5 GPA or higher I need to get an A or B in each of my courses. Getting A’s and B’s will require a lot of hard work and dedication on my part. I will need to study hard and ask questions when I do not understand. Apply. For me to get an entry-level position, I will need to start applying to jobs in my area within a thirty mile radius. My goal is to apply for at least two jobs a week until I get a full-time position. Challenges Achieving the goals that I have set forth for myself will be no easy task. Like everything in life there is no direct route from point A to B.

I will face many challenges throughout my graduate studies. A few challenges that I will have to face are time management, having no background in health care and landing that entry-level job. Time Management. “Successful time management starts with identifying your time-related need and preferences” (Carter, Bishop, ; Kravits, 2007). Managing my time will be a number on priory because I am not only just attending graduate school. I work full-time, have a home-based business, a house to keep after, referee field hockey, and try to make time for myself.

By using a planner and prioritizing these tools will help me succeed in getting everything accomplished. Planner. Having multiple things going on in my life at one time, it is important to keep track of them all. Using a planner allows me to keep track of everything I have going on. At the present time I have two planners, one is strictly for school, and the other is for everything else. My planner for schools shows what assignment I have to do for each week and their due dates. This lets me know what I have coming up and will ensure that I do not miss anything or hand it in late.

My planner for everything else shows me when I have other actives going on so I do not over schedule myself. Prioritize. According to Carter, Bishop, and Kravits (2007), prioritizing helps you identify important tasks and to focus most of your time and energy on them. Since, I have all my activities identified in my planners it will make it easy to see what I have to do and I will be able to list and do those activities in order of importance. For example, if I have to write a paper for school, referee a game at eight o’clock pm and have a show for my home-based business at two o’clock pm.

I will probably do my paper first to get that out of the way then go to the show and then referee the game. No Background. At this moment in time my background in health administration is minimal. I have administrative experience but the health care experience is lacking. I think that because of the lack of health care knowledge some of the course I will be taking will be a little more challenging then for someone who has a health care background. By doing extra research and asking questions when I do not understand will help me get through those tough courses.

Landing a Job. With no background in health care I think that I am going to have a hard time even getting an entry-level position. When applying for jobs most of the descriptions say, they are looking for someone with experience, which I am lacking. I believe the more educations I accrue and getting good grade in those courses will help me in getting that entry-level position. I also need to keep applying to whatever jobs become available. If I do not apply, I will definitely not have any chances of getting a job. Communication Improvement

Pedersen (2011), “Having good and solid communication skills is one of the most important skills a human being can have. ” We use communication in everyday life so it is important to be good at it so people understand what you are saying and you understand what they are saying. Some people are very good at communicating and others have a difficult time with it and need improvement. Thinking before you speech, listening, and body language are areas in which people need to improve there skills. Think Before You Speak. You want to take time to plan out and be clear on what you want to say before stating it (eHow, Inc. 1999).

If you do not take the time to do this, you may not get your entire point across and the person you are talking to can misunderstand what you are trying to say. Listen. According to eHow, Inc. (1999), “Listening is often more important than speaking. ” If you are not paying attention to what the other person is saying, you will not be able to respond to him or her when it is your turn to speak. Also if you are not paying attention to the person who is trying to communicate with you, he or she may think that you are ignoring him or her.

Body Language. Not only are the words coming out of your mouth an important part of communication but also your body language is an important factor to (Pedersen, 2011). If you are not making eye contact and are doing something else while someone is speaking, you may miss something he or she says, and the person may think you are not listening to him or her. When someone is talking to you it is important to look at him or her and focus on what her or she is saying. Personal I think that I am some what good at communicating.

After reading a few articles about thinking before I speak, listening, and body language I believe that I have a good bit of improving to do. Sometime I do not think before I speak and I end up starting in the middle of a thought and the person who I am talking to gets very confused. I sometimes need to slow down and take a few second and think about what I want to say before I say it. Most of the time my body language is very good. When someone is talking to me I look at that person to let him or her know I am listening and paying attention to what he or she is saying.

I definitely need to work on the listening part as well. Sometimes I find myself thinking about what I want to say back to that person instead of listening to what he or she saying. In conclusion, I believe that by setting goals, know what challenges lie ahead and how to face those challenges I will have no problem achieve what I set out to achieve during my studies at the University of Phoenix and throughout my life ahead. If I improve my communications skills, work on my time management and get an entry-level job I will be well on my way to getting the job of my dreams.