AllisonSteers

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School

Kaplan University

Discipline

Master of Science in Management

Specialization

Project Management

Year in School

First

Previous Degrees

Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Dayton (2003)
“Try to relate everything that you learn to a real-life scenario. All of the material that I learn has to do with business management, so I try to think of ways that I can use what I am learning at work. It helps me remember what I learn, and it makes my work processes flow more smoothly.”

Why did you choose to pursue an online masters degree in management from Kaplan University?

I chose to pursue a masters degree in management because I want to advance into a senior position at my current job. I started looking into potential educational paths, and I discovered that online graduate school was the only option that fit my lifestyle. In addition to school, I frequently travel for work. I also have a family. All of those responsibilities are difficult to balance, but online classes let me set my own schedule.

After I decided to go to school online, it was an easy decision to choose Kaplan University because I am a sales representative for the school. I do believe in what Kaplan University is doing for students, and I know it offers many resources for its students. Plus, they are paying for me to go there. It seemed like an opportunity that I couldn't turn down.

How did you prepare yourself for going to graduate school online?

The most important thing that I did to get ready for graduate school was to prepare my family for the fact that I would be less available to them. I knew that I would be spending many of my evenings completing homework, so I wanted them to know that I would be busier more often once I started school. Luckily, my husband is in grad school too, so he understands the time commitment that it requires.

What tips do you have for a student who is applying to study management online at Kaplan University?

Students probably won't need much help when it comes to applying to Kaplan University. The application process is very simple, and you will be able to upload most of your documents online. You will also have an admissions advisor to guide you through the various stages of the application process.

Can you describe your online management masters program?

My program takes a little less than 2 years to complete. Each class is 6 weeks long with a week's break in between new courses. I have found that the breaks are necessary because our coursework is very intensive, and it would be exhausting not to have a little space in between.

The masters in management curriculum teaches students about the different aspects of managing a business and the employees who work for it. I have taken classes in business communication, financial analysis, management theory and organizational change. I have also learned how to research products and consult with others.

Do you have a specialization in your masters program in management?

Yes, my specialization is project management. Project management sounds a little vague, but it deals with the planning and execution of different tasks within the company. When there is a new initiative or a product to be developed, the project manager decides how long it will take to complete the task, which resources will contribute to the project and how those resources can be best used.

How is your masters degree curriculum in management presented?

Each of the 6 weeks in a class entails a learning unit with its own requirements. Usually each unit requires a mix of individual and group work. Individual work generally consists of writing a focus paper. Some units require us to complete group PowerPoint presentations too, but it depends on the focus of the course. In addition to those assignments, each student is required to post thoughts about the reading material on the class discussion board each week.

What kinds of resources does Kaplan University provide to support you as an online masters student?

Kaplan University provides its students with several resources, which can all be accessed through the university's website. Each student can log in to the website to access the library and the tutoring centers where professors are available to help. Students can also use the school's bookstore to purchase their textbooks. However, I haven't had to make use of those resources because I am an independent learner.

What is a typical day like for you as an online masters student?

I am much more than just an online masters student, and my daily schedule reflects that. I work from about 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Then I pick my children up from daycare and we have dinner together before I put them to bed. After they go down for the night, I do homework for about 2 hours. All in all, I spend about 10 to 12 hours each week doing homework.

It makes for a busy lifestyle, but the people who are closest to me support my decision to go to graduate school. Even my supervisor is understanding about the amount of work that it takes, so I spend the majority of my lunch hours catching up on extra homework that I can't finish before bed at night.

Do you have any study tips that would help other online students to succeed?

One study tip that I have is to try to relate everything that you learn to a real-life scenario. All of the material that I learn has to do with business management, so I try to think of ways that I can use what I am learning at work. It helps me remember what I learn, and it makes my work processes flow more smoothly.

How much does your online masters degree in management cost?

The cost of a masters degree in management at Kaplan University varies depending on your specific focus, but I believe my program costs about $36,000 in total.

How are you funding your graduate degree at Kaplan University?

I work for Kaplan University, so my employer is paying for my graduate school in full. The only aspect of my masters degree that I am responsible for paying out of pocket is my books.

How do you intend to use your online masters degree in management in your career?

I intend to use my masters degree to enter into a management position in the next few years. I know that this degree will have a positive effect on my career because I am learning the key skills that managers need. For example, I have learned how to build a team and implement processes in an organization. Even if I don't stay with my current company, I will be able to use those skills in some capacity in the future.

If you could begin your program again, is there anything you would do differently about pursuing your online masters degree at Kaplan University?

No, I wouldn't do anything differently in pursuing my masters degree. I would have liked to start this program about 2 years ago, but it didn't fit into my life at the time. Now that I am enrolled in the program, there is nothing that I would change.

What should a student know about getting a masters degree in management online?

People need to know that getting a masters degree online will force a lifestyle change. They need to make sure that they go into the program with a clear idea of how they will manage their time because the program is rigorous. It seems like many people think online school is easy, but it requires a huge time commitment and a strong sense of self-discipline.