March 9, 2013

I am Officially a Regent Student

I received an email from the Director of Admissions reminding me to pay my enrollment fee for Summer studies. It was the first communication I have received from Regent since a short welcome letter arrived a couple weeks ago.

As a former Enrollment Advisor with University of Phoenix, I was a little put off by the fact that this very nice, and very expensive University doesn't seem to go the extra distance to welcome doctoral students to their program. In my view, there is a difference in how students should be treated based on their level of education. I believe that all students should be greeted warmly, but that for those who make the decision to go on to higher levels of studies, extra time and attention needs to be paid to them. After all, most graduate students are full-time professionals, who are balancing life and work, and education. There needs to be some hand-holding and some direction to make sure that the busy graduate knows exactly where they are going, and how they are going to get there. I wish Universities would have a better grasp of important it is to take go that little extra mile, how it would make graduate students feel more comfortable, and welcome. Leaving them to guess what is next is the worst feeling -- and for those of us who are footing their own bill -- it is like paying $30k  for the privilege of getting  to do all the work yourself.

Oh well...just a little miffing this morning. I am blessed to be accepted and blessed to be able to attend this school. I am letting this pass, but I so wish that I could convey just how important it is to make a good impression with your self-paying graduate students.

On another note, I am working from home again. It is Saturday, and while I don't want to be stuck working at all, I would rather be working from home. I have three major tasks that have to be completed by March 15, 2013. All have deadlines, and all are visible to my senior level management. I have tried to get this work done during my normal 8-5, but I cannot do it. There is simply too much work for one person to complete. The upper level management team doesn't seem to get the volume of work, and is not moving to bring on more people to help us overcome the load. In fact, we are losing people, and they are not getting replaced - which is really a shame. We have lost one analyst in January, and our temporary contractor has just resigned this week. This puts a crimp in my plans, because the latter directly supported me, and I am still not in a position where I can do my own work.

I am committed to finding another job, now that I have my priorities straight regarding Regent. I am thankful for the work at CVS Caremark, but I am not seeing any light at the end of my tunnel. I was hopeful that we were making that turn and that the workload and volume would be decreasing. This is not the case, and after an internal staff meeting on Thursday, Sr. Leadership gave us no inclination that the work would improve anytime soon. I feel that my drop-dead date for moving out of this job and into another is May. I have to be fresh and ready to start classes in June, and I don't want to be working overtime at the same time. Moreover, I have already given notice to my boss that I would need a full-week off in June. Now that there is no planned change in the status quo, I am concerned that I could get to May, and be told that I cannot take the time. My required residency is June 10-15, 2013, and I am not going to miss it!

I have applied for a couple positions, but have not heard anything yet. My gut tells me that the jobs paid less than what I wanted, and that I need to keep looking. I don't mind doing that though I would rather find something and focus on getting it than to keep applying and applying. I am looking at moving back to higher education administration since the work load expectation is manageable. I have applied to University of Phoenix for an Editor position, and to Grand Canyon University as a Faculty Scheduler. I am open to either -- so long as the pay is good, and the work load is a normal 8-5, M-F type position.

I am trusting the Lord for the next position. I am open to staying put as well -- I am just not seeing that as a viable option. I cannot work extra hours and S-S each week. I need to clock in 40 hours, and then be free to devote 20 hours per week to my studies.

The Plans as of March 2013

For now, my plans are to keep looking for a less intensive job. I found out that my landlord is thinking about selling the unit I am in -- unless I want to buy it -- at some point in the near future. This works into my plans to move into a rental home with my parents. I was worried that I would be breaking my lease, but now see that this is part of the Lord's will for me. My landlord was over last week to review the damage to the outside patio wall (my older neighbor drove her card into the wall on Wednesday). He casually asked me if I wanted to buy the unit. I wasn't prepared to say I was moving out, so I just gently said "no, not at this time." This is good news because I believe he will not have any issues with me getting out of my lease in June.

So with that said, here is what I have on my future forecast list for the remainder of 2013:
  • Register for my orientation course at Regent, June 10-15, 2013
  • Fly to Virginia Beach, VA (approx. $2k budgeted for the week stay)
  • Move from my townhome to a 4BR rental home near where my parents live now (May 2013)
  • Change jobs in April-May so that I am settled for June school start
  • Register my son for courses at ASU (April 2013)
  • School starts August 22 - so buy a used card (May 2013) for him to get to school
  • September will bring full-time study - need manageable job, settled into the new home
My biggest concerns right now are my son letting go of North Park University for his schooling. He has finally been accepted (after they lost his application). The problem is cost and travel expense, and factoring in my needs above, I just do not see this as a practical nor Lord permitted choice. My son needs to go to ASU for his next level of studies, but as of right now, he is just not 100% set on it.

My second, lesser concern, is transitioning from CVS Caremark to another job. I hate starting over. I hate changing jobs, learning new routines, waiting for benefits to kick in, etc. I am so tired of the rig-a-ram-role. I want a job that I can do for the next 3-4 years while I complete my online studies. I don't want it to take over my life, consume my focus, nor where me to a frazzle. I need enough to live on, and with my parents help, this should be possible (the fact that we are sharing rent and costs).

Dear Lord -

I need you to provide a way through this maze of change. You know how much I struggle with change, and how much I don't like to start over. I am not the most outgoing/social of people, and starting a new job means meeting new people. I ask now that you would provide a job to me that will fit with your plans for Regent. Clearly, you are orchestrating all these details. There is no way that all these unrelated events would fall into place without your hand being involved. I know you are making my paths straight, and that you will deliver on your promises to me. I am trusting you today to bring me a new position within the month, and I am believing whatever concerns me today has already been washed through your generous and kind mercy and grace.

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