On September 5th, Yorkville University will welcome another cohort of graduate studies students who have taken the first step to achieving their personal and professional goals. Whether entering a Master of Education in Educational Leadership program, on the cusp of starting a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology, or pursuing a Master of Education in Adult Education, graduate school requires a significant commitment, effort and planning for success. Who better to advise then those who have made it through the thick?
The Alumni Relations Office at Yorkville University has reached out to graduates for their top tips for success and here is what they had to say:
Jenn Silk, also a graduate of Yorkville’s MACP program works as a crisis worker, counsellor and case manager in the Toronto Area. She recommends that graduate students:
-be selective when it comes to your coursework and reading assignments—which can be extensive—facing a discussion or a paper, by only reading that which will support your argument
-be kind to the trees. It isn’t necessary to print a single piece of paper during your graduate studies. This may require some creative desktop organization on your computer, but it can be done
Christina Crowe, one of Yorkville’s MACP graduates, is a registered psychotherapist with a private practice in Caledon, Ontario, focused on helping people find new ways of coping, communicating and connecting. Her tips for success are:
-implement a self-care plan at the beginning of the semester and stick to it
-join all of your provincial associations as a student, to get ahead of the game
-Buy your website domain name—just in case!
Kathy Payne, counselling psychotherapist and MACP alumnus with a private practice in Ontario, works to help people thrive in their relationships using mindfulness techniques and cognitive behavioural therapy, also advocates for being judicious when it comes to research, and suggests that students:
-do the research for your papers early in the first week, so that you can just write them up before they are due, instead of trying to do it all at the last minute
-don’t use too many references for a paper. I used to do way too many which wasted a lot of time.
-plan your week. I spent weekdays on discussion questions, and weekends on papers and projects
Sandy Johnston is also a Yorkville MACP graduate. She maintains a private practice in the Barrie, Ontario region, with a specialization in trauma and traumatic grief. She emphasizes the importance of self-care, self-awareness and collaboration:
-you must schedule personal time, because without doing that, you will burn out fast. Remember this is a graduate program, and the expectations are high
-if you’re finding a course more difficult, start a study group with other students and tackle assignments together
Patricia Regier, Master of Education Alumnus and educational consultant with a private practice, suggests to new students to, “be brave and be vulnerable. The more you put into this learning experience, is the more you will get out of it! You can be part of an incredible online community through these courses. Believe you can do this and you will.”
And of course, advice with which all alumni seem to concur is, Stick with it! Graduate school is challenging for everyone, but if you persevere, you will look back on your efforts with immense pride.