Program: MS in Construction Management Online
Job Title: Project Manager
You live out of state and you’re enrolled as an online student in our Construction Management master’s degree program. Why have you chosen to come back to school?
The main reason I decided to return to school was to expand my knowledge in the CM field. I looked at it as an opportunity to separate myself from others in this industry.
I chose Wentworth because being a Northeast guy, I’ve heard nothing but good things about the institution, but more importantly, the convenience of the online program really sold me. Pursuing a master’s degree while working full-time is a challenge and being able to work at your own pace and not have to attend classes at mandated times throughout the week is convenient.
Online learning is gaining traction within higher education. What made you decide to go the online route? Had you had any previous experience taking classes online?
I had taken a couple winter/summer online sessions during my undergraduate years. I decided to choose the online route because of the convenience. I truly believe that virtual learning is the future for education. It may take some time, but with technology evolving at a faster pace than ever, I think it may become the norm in years to come.
We agree! Do you believe there are any limitations to online learning vs. learning in a classroom?
Like anything else, there are its pros and cons but I think from a student’s perspective, if you are disciplined you can in fact get more out of a virtual class than a classroom because you are obligated to read and review required materials to complete the work without being able to attend lectures. In my classroom experiences, I found many times I was able to attend class, listen, take some notes and still obtain an A or B in a course. That was in a perfect world but now working full-time, I’d find it very difficult to meet at a structured day/time week in and week out.
You’re working towards your master’s degree. How does this align with your overall career goals?
By furthering my education, I think this will present a good opportunity for me in the future and allow me to advance faster than others per say.
Do you feel there are misconceptions about the construction industry, in terms of not having to have a degree to advance, or is it the opposite?
From an outsider’s perspective, I think many people hear the word construction and they assume “dirty work." This is why I think it’s important to educate yourself and portray a positive image on our industry by educating yourself as much as possible.
We all know juggling work and life is hard enough! What is your secret to fitting in classwork and studying on top of everything else in your daily life?
I think setting aside a couple hours each night of the week or a few hours a few days of the week to read, review and complete homework assignments or quizzes is a good way to approach the workload.
Now that you’re a seasoned adult student, what valuable piece of advice can you bestow upon someone interested in getting his or her degree?
To have success in this program I emphasize the importance of time management, communication and prioritization. When you get so tied up between work, school and life, you realize how valuable your time is so make sure to make time for all three. Also, the workload can be challenging and overwhelming so ask your professor in a professional way for tips and guidance to help you succeed throughout the course. They understand how challenging it can be to work full-time and be a student, they’ve been there. By reaching out to them, they can pave the path for you to make it through the 7 weeks. In one of my professor's own words, “Job’s come and go, education lasts forever.” -Cindy Stevens