Balancing Work and Grad School
Many engineers nowadays aspire to go into grad school. However, attending grad school with a full-time job can be overwhelming. It’s no easy task to juggle classes, homework, finals, office deadlines, and client meetings–unless you’re Superman of course.
While we can’t assure you that balancing work and school would become easy, we can give you a few tips that can help you cope.
The best move you can do when going back to school is to research the programs and find one that suits your needs.
Check the school location, cost, curriculum and consider programs that are designed specifically for working professionals. These programs are more likely to offer a flexible schedule and class load so it can fit snuggly with your work schedule.
Once you have been accepted into a program, you will have to talk to your boss–especially if you think this will affect your work schedule–*cough*–overtime. Explain and emphasize all the ways that your newly acquired knowledge will help you be a better employee. Will your classes help you brush up on industry trends? Will it help improve your management skills?
Research for Financial Options
Grad school isn’t cheap. The cost of tuition and other expenses can take a toll on your bank account. Instead of piling up your student loans, prepare for your expenses early on. See if your company has a tuition reimbursement program you could apply for. Get a side hustle to raise funds a few months before enrolling. Set aside a portion of your salary a few months before enrolling to help lower the cost of your schooling.
Successful grad students don’t just work hard, they work smart too! You will soon have a research/ thesis project to complete as part of your class requirements. So why not try to tie this project for something you are already doing in your job. For example, your project entails you to create a good security system application at a company environment. You get to do your homework at your office, since you are doing a project that will help benefit the company as well. It’s a win-win situation.
Don’t Forget Yourself
Never forget yourself. While all these tips can help take some of the stress from going to grad school and working a full-time job, it will still be very stressful. Make sure you get the rest you need during the weekends (if your classes aren’t scheduled on the weekends). Eat healthy, and drink vitamin supplements to keep you away from colds/ flu. Treat yourself once in a while.
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