Friday, July 15, 2011

What educational advice does an academic adviser take herself?

Academic adviser Vanessa Meredith with husband Joseph
Academic advisers typically counsel students on their educational careers. But what happens when the academic adviser is in the student seat? What educational advice do they take to advance their career? Our blogging team turned the mic on Vanessa Meredith to find out.

Vanessa has been in academia for 14 years, and is currently an academic adviser at a New Jersey university. About two years ago, she decided she wanted to earn a master's degree to move into a more advanced position in her field.

However, like many working adults, she was facing several work-life obstacles. She was newly married, had a son in high school, and was going through some career transitions. Going back to school didn't seem like it would fit into her lifestyle.

Hear Vanessa explain how she earned her master's degree in human services in 18 months from Post University, and why she "loved every second of it."



Vanessa has an interesting perspective on going back to school as an adult learner. Given her academic background, Vanessa has been plugged in to myriad programs that schools are offering working adults, including online degree programs. Post University stood out to her as a university that's doing online education right.

"You have to be a good teacher to be an online instructor, and I found that to be the case in every course at Post," she says during our podcast.

Listen as Vanessa tells the story of how the people she met at Post University helped guide her academic journey, including admissions counselor Michele Rodrigues. She was the first person Vanessa spoke to when she called Post University to learn more about it before enrolling. Vanessa says Michele was a big reason she decided to go to the university, and stick with it.

"Had I not had the conversation -- the upbeat conversation -- that I had with Michele, I don't know how quickly I would have jumped on becoming a Post University student," Vanessa says. "She was phenomenal. She put me at ease immediately." Vanessa and Michele are friends and remain in touch today.

Now with her master's degree in human services, Vanessa has her some new advice of her own to share to help other working adults achieve their educational goals.

"There's always something going on in everyday life that can make you say I don't have the time or I can't do it," she says. "But you've got to make the time, and Post makes it easy to do that. And it's not terribly expensive."

During our podcast, Vanessa gives more tips and advice on how to manage earning a degree while working full time, and handling other life responsibilities. She also explains why she believes online education is a crucial component of education overall today, and dispels the misconception that taking courses online is easier than on campus.

"Online doesn't equal easier," she says. "I really do believe that online equals better learning."

Hit play to hear Vanessa's full story. (If you don't have time to listen in now, we'll also be posting the transcript of the podcast soon.) Thanks again, Vanessa, for joining us on our blog, and best of luck in the future!