Anyone manage full-time graduate school and job?

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It may be false expectations of myself, but I'm wondering if it is all realistic to attempt 9 credits of graduate school coursework and my full-time job.

Any anecdotal feedback would be appreciated.

I went to grad school full-time and worked 2 part-time jobs, one was as a graduate teaching assistant the other was 12.5 hr overnight shifts 1-2 nights a week.

My graduate school also included clinical hours which was a minimum of 8 hrs a week.

Based on my experience I think it's doable but I think it may be dependent on the program you'll be in.

For what it's worth I also planned a wedding and got married half way through the program. I graduated with a 4.0 gpa.
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Originally Posted by Poodlehead
I also agree, it depends on the program that you are in.

For example, some graduate programs assume that will working a full time job and schedule classes accordingly ( there is a graduate program at my college for teachers to get their masters degrees and all the the classes are scheduled at 4pm or later which is when schools have already let out.

If your job is with the university, these employers are also usually extremely flexible because they know that you are working toward a degree and they know and respect that that takes a lot of your time away.

Regardless of the program, I think you are going to have to be extremely productive with your time. Be proactive in planning and organizing because many teachers are known to throw in a project or test out of no where at short notice.

I would also recommend making some sort of plan (to keep yourself afloat financially) in case you find that you need to quit the job or go to part time. Also, have a plan in case you decide that you need to drop a class (how far back will this put you in obtaining your degree, will this be on your transcripts, etc.).

Goodluck!
I just did this this past semester. Let me just say it was hellish. So glad it is over.

I just took it one week at a time. Let me tell you, I was counting them down, too. I have to take 7 hours in the fall, and I'm not looking forward to it. Most of my school time was done after work, late nights and early mornings. I found that going to bed early and getting up very early allowed me to be much more productive than coming home from work and working until 2 AM.

I allowed myself one night off a week.

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I'm starting graduate school in the Fall. I also work two jobs. I'm sure I can manage it because both of my jobs are not stressful. You should be fine as long as you stay focused on your studies
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I worked full time and got my masters, as well. I teach, and the university I went to for my masters worked with teachers (like greenjumper mentioned). It was a pretty intense accelerated program and I finished in 15 months of Saturday classes and summer classes. Each class session was eight hours long. I can't say those 15 months were really fun, but they went by so fast and it was worth it for me. I also got married and we bought a house which I helped fix up a little while I was in school. It's definitely doable!
I'm finishing up now. It was/is hellish. I agree I think that is all about the job you have. I work in retail and I am getting my master's degree in the education arena. Those two sphere's never really mesh well. I actually had to stay longer because my GPA dropped 2 or 3 hundredths(not a typo) of a point below a 3.0. But after this summer I am free. Retail is a demanding, getting stabbed in the back, stressful job and I'm a manager. Like someone said take it one day at a time let your professors know what is going on up front, I learned that the hard way. Many will bend for you. Also if the job u have now has nothing to do with where your going don't let it consume you. Remember what your going to school for and the bigger prize.
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Yes. Worked full-time at a very demanding job and completed four years of graduate school while doing so. It was certainly one of the most demanding periods of life. Lots of sacrifice......
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I was a full time graduate student and worked part time. I would have worked full time, but I also had clinical rotations that took up too much time. If you don't have outside rotations, I think you could manage both. Yeah, I was crazy busy and stressed out, but I still graduated with a 4.0. I always tell people, it's the schedule, not the classes that make grad school tough.
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I agree with other people saying take it one day at a time. Since you are going to grad school, I think professors are more forgiving, from my experience, because they know that you're not 18 and most people do have full time jobs.
Totally agree on the point made on communicating with the profs/instructors. Other than that, your mileage may vary according to the intensity of your program.

For the record, I work a pretty demanding job, don't have a 4.0 and don't want one, am single and live alone without pets. This degree is solely about passing, not GPA for me. That was undergrad! LOL I will say I did move at the beginning of my second year, that was difficult.

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Last edited by curlyarca; 06-17-2012 at 12:42 PM.
I finished my PhD last summer, taking 3 years and 9 credits every semester, 6 each summer. I was also a graduate research assistant the first two years at 20 hours per week to cover school fully an provide a 20k stipend we could use to pay down other student loans. I worked full time as a supervisor and am a mom to a now 12-year old travel soccer player (among other activities).

My marriage relationship was the thing that suffered neglect, so that all the other balls I mentioned above could stay in the air. We are just getting back to 'normal' a year later!

Anecdotally, it's definitely doable, but don't just consider a paid job and school as the two time/resource/energy needs. If you have an SO, child, pet, family member you care for, etc., those have to be factored in and planned for, too, as appropriate/possible.

Many blessings and much clarity as you decide!
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Yeah, I'm in a PhD program and have a sort of medium-profile job that is pretty demanding.

I take 6 hours a semester, year 'round. This is my candidacy summer so I'm sitting for three written comprehensive exams and an oral comprehensive exam.

I am tired of school and think of just quitting every day. But I will persevere. One more year 'til I graduate!

I am so glad I have a job I love, working with and for people who are supportive of my educational goals. And I'm REALLY glad my husband is supportive because school puts a damper on everything.
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Last edited by PartyHair; 06-17-2012 at 07:55 PM.
I worked as an assistant instructor plus did other part time work when I was getting my graduate degree, and it worked out all right. Working at the same place I was studying surely made it easier (but not a cake walk by any means!) I do know other people who worked full time at non-university related jobs while taking a full load of graduate courses, and they were able to make it work as well. NOT easy, of course, but doable. Staying focused and cutting back on 'life stuff' that sucks your time and energy helps. Be sure to savor what down time you get and really use it to recharge. You deserve that, so don't let anyone guilt you out of it. <-- I found that helped me anyway.

Hope it goes well for you -- Good luck!
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I was a full-time grad student while working full-time for just over 2 years. I also was running a theater company and doing freelance PR and writing work, so maybe it seemed so bad to me because of those extras.

I was pretty miserable. Tired all the time, but also high strung and always feeling like I was forgetting something, so I didn't sleep well. Is nervous exhaustion a thing? That's what it felt like. No down time, ever. When we did have a holiday break, I found that I would refuse to commit to anything beyond watching movies at home while wearing something fleecey and drinking red wine. I became fiercely protective of any free time, and I've actually found that kind of hard to shake off since graduating (with distinction, whutwhut!) last November.

I'd just say to think long and hard, and realistically, about your work/time management habits and ability to focus. If you're generally focused and good at planning your life, you'll probably be just fine. And if you're more scattered like me, you'll still survive, it'll just really suck for a while.
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I was a full-time grad student while working full-time for just over 2 years. I also was running a theater company and doing freelance PR and writing work, so maybe it seemed so bad to me because of those extras.

I was pretty miserable. Tired all the time, but also high strung and always feeling like I was forgetting something, so I didn't sleep well. Is nervous exhaustion a thing? That's what it felt like. No down time, ever. When we did have a holiday break, I found that I would refuse to commit to anything beyond watching movies at home while wearing something fleecey and drinking red wine. I became fiercely protective of any free time, and I've actually found that kind of hard to shake off since graduating (with distinction, whutwhut!) last November.

I'd just say to think long and hard, and realistically, about your work/time management habits and ability to focus. If you're generally focused and good at planning your life, you'll probably be just fine. And if you're more scattered like me, you'll still survive, it'll just really suck for a while.
Originally Posted by MoppyT
Yeah, this rings pretty true for me, too. I did it for 2.5 years (including summers) to get my masters, then took about a year and a half off, and went back for my PhD...it's been almost 4 years of that and I'll be done next month! Financially I just couldn't swing it any other way without committing to a lifestlye of multiple roommates and ramen noodles for dinner that I wasn't willing to do.


I think the key is to acknowledge what your schedule will be like, and what you'll have to give up. While technically yes, I could have hung out with my friends on Saturday because I wasn't working or doing school work, I really just needed to lay on the couch and watch TV. Just recharge. at home. alone. Having friends and family who can understand it's not personal is very important.

Also, I think it's important to be reasonable about how much you'll be able to keep up with the rest of life...for me, I had to accept that I no longer had time to bake, and that having a clean house was no longer a top priority!
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when i was in my very intense mba program i was a hall director on campus with about 250 girls in my dorm. i don't know if i'd quantify the job as "full time" but it was a bit demanding at times and not demanding at others. in exchange i had a good resume builder, free room and board, cable, a meal plan and a small pay check. i did it for two years and have no regrets but it was hard and like others said, i was happy when it was all over and my time, weekends, etc were mine again.
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Last edited by luvmylocs; 06-18-2012 at 01:23 PM.
I've done full-time job and part-time grad school, and part-time job and full-time grad school. Full-time for both would be tough, but not impossible. I have two preschool children, so that also makes it harder for me to get homework/reading done at home.
I was a full time student and a too job. It was easy but I had to move and then I fail my class. Because I got behind on work. Retake english and fail because i was sick of school and had diabete. I didnt know that I was sick. I was feeling so bad. Then 2 week after I failed again. I was in the hopstail for 3 days. For diabete and now im taking a break from for my healthy. So I can live a little. I want to be make up artist... I dont want to be a chef no more. So im happy I dont waste money.

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