Organized Chaos of Adult Learning

 Organized Chaos of Adult Learners

A Day in the Life of Mike Wilkin:

Mike Wilkin- “Ask for help!”
Mike’s Balance

Mike begins his days at work between 5am and 7am.  Mike spends approximately 25% of his day reviewing production defects documented by the internal auditors and then sorts them by location for investigation.  He then spends 50% of his day investigating the validity of those production defects and interviewing operators to determine root cause and corrective action.  Mike spends the remainder of his workday working with individual departments fixing any processing or material defects that need addressed and corrected. 

When Mike gets off work, he dedicates a few hours each evening to homework.  Mike is in the FLEX program at Millikin University and is a full-time student.  While Mike juggles his own assignments, he has a 17-year-old daughter that is currently remote learning.  She needs Mike’s help with her work as well due to the struggles high school students that are online learning seem to be experiencing.  Mike states, “online learning for high schoolers is pure garbage.”  These are some challenging times we are in and parents were not prepared for the added stress.

On Tuesday’s, Mike takes time for some selfcare.  Mike spends from 7pm-9pm at the bowling alley.  He is on a league and bowls 4 games individually.  On the other nights, Mike makes sure to take some time for himself.  He spends about an hour or so at the gym working out or playing Tennis.  Once Spring hits and the weather improves, Mike replaces these indoor activities with outdoor activities, including Softball.  Mike enjoys staying active and makes sure to take time for himself outside of the work/school obligations.  This is a great work/life balance.

Despite Mike’s busy schedule, he does his best to maintain a routine sleep schedule to ensure he is getting enough rest.  Rest is important when you are trying to maintain a hectic schedule.  Mike tries to get to bed around 8:30pm most nights.  Sleep is important to avoid burnout.

 Mike’s advice to anyone considering entering the FLEX Organizational Leadership program at Millikin University is to “learn to manage your time.”  Mike has realized that this is an intense program and every minute counts.  He wants everyone to know that the instructors want you to be successful and you will build relationships with those you are in the cohort with.  Mike’s final words of advice, “Ask for help!” 

I have enjoyed engaging with Mike over the last two years as we have worked our way through this program.  I can relate to Mike in the busy, non-stop, chaos and deadlines of work, school, and day-to-day obligations.  I cannot agree more that the work/life balance is key and so is learning to manage your time.  I also work many hours, have a teenager remote learning, and am a full-time student.  I struggle to make time for myself, but it is important to maintain your sanity.

Professor Melinda Rueter- “Find a structure that works for you.”

Melinda Rueter is a Professor at Millikin connected to the Organizational Leadership major and Tabor School of Business.  She teaches on Tuesdays and Thursdays but adds a 4-hour evening class in the Fall semester.  She advises Communication students on internships which can consume a considerable amount of her time during different parts of the semester. 

Melinda Rueter has worked with FLEX students and knows that most of them have a full-time job and often families in conjunction with the schoolwork.  Her observations from working with FLEX students who have jobs and/or families has been that finding a balance that allows them to complete all assignments can be a challenge.  Recently with COVID, she has noticed this to be especially hard for parents who have children that are also home participating in remote learning.

Melinda’s advice for students in the OL FLEX program is “to find a structure that works for you.”  She recommends advocating for yourself and finding support from family, friends, and other classmates.

About the writer:

Ashley Galloway- Writer/Safety Specialist/Full-time Student/Parent

Data-driven OSHA 30 certified safety specialist with 15 years industry experience.  Experienced maintenance technician in the manufacturing/construction industry. Strong operations experience and safety compliance with the ability to create a culture of engagement and organizational effectiveness. 

Dedicated to supporting performance excellence and continuous improvement processes while creating a competitive safety culture.  Strong case management, program implementation, and large project oversight with the ability to support business continuity.  Possesses team building strategies that support empowerment and continuous colleague development.  Ability to work in teams and create sustainable improvements within multiple levels of a company. 

Co-Founder of @NotForgotten a local non-profit that develops community engagement and resources for people living with exceptional needs.

Full-time student of organizational leadership at Millikin University and member of the Tabor School of Business Honor’s Society.

Legally (and Environmentally) Blonde

Hannah P., a sophomore at Millikin University, wakes up to her phone alarm at 7:30 A.M. She pulls on some leggings, a graphic t-shirt, some converse, and grabs her keys on the way out the door. She works, every morning, as an office assistant in the honors office. Her mornings are pretty laid back, she spends them intermittently filing documents and working on her schoolwork.

At 11:00, she clocks out of work and heads to her first class of the day. It is Philosophy of Law and fulfills a requirement for one of her majors, Pre-Law. This class explores the different philosophical approaches when considering court cases. Hannah chose to major in law because it is a concrete way in which she can change the world for the better. Her other major, Environmental Studies, is how she wants to focus her legal efforts. When I asked her what she hopes to achieve with her liberal education, she stated, “I plan on moving onto environmental law and working with different environmental organizations to decrease the impact that human functions have on the environment.”

After her philosophy class, Hannah goes to Logic and Critical thinking, which counts towards her Environmental Studies major.

When both her classes are finished, Hannah heads back to her apartment to work on some schoolwork. She gets a little bit of homework done and spends some time eating and relaxing. She is also taking an asynchronous class this semester, Written Business Communication, which is demanding because it requires her to schedule out when she will be completing her assignments. Hannah tries to get a start on her asynchronous schoolwork on Monday so that she is on track for the week.

Once recharged, Hannah heads out again for Moot Court with Dr. Robert Money. It is a curricular organization where students explore hypothetical court cases and their different approaches. Currently, the class is preparing for a competition where students argue both sides of the same case. Hannah particularly enjoys this class, because it gives her hands-on experience with legal cases. The Moot Court setting is an opportunity for her to critically look at legal procedures.

After Moot Court, Hannah heads back to her apartment to cook herself some dinner. This is her time to herself for the day, and she spends it unwinding. She listens to music, works on some homework, and heads to bed. Her day is busy, but she feels satisfaction in all that she has accomplished.

When I asked Hannah why she believed it was important that she was studying what she is, she said that “understanding how the way you’re living […] is crucial to healing the environment and solving the climate change crisis.” Mine and Hannah’s mutual advisor, Professor Roslyn O’Conner, also reiterated how students such as Hannah are key to solving the environmental tragedies our planet faces. “Our environment is suffering severely […] things are only getting better because we have students that want to step up and fix things.”

Studying how we can make the planet a better, more environmentally sound place is how we ensure a brighter future. A balanced planet where natural resources are available to those who need them and where wildlife can live without constant threat is where a truly peaceful society is born. However, the first step to reaching it is educating ourselves. When speaking about the larger implications of her work, Professor O’Conner said, “imparting the knowledge on how we can save the world and seeing that others are as passionate as myself about saving the world, it really gives me hope for the future.”

Maria Holloway-Racine – Student at Millikin University majoring in Acting and Environmental Studies. By studying two very different disciplines, I practice both my academic and artistic skills. When I am not rehearsing a scene, I am either creating captions for video lectures or sewing in the university costume shop. I am an eager person that hopes to explore all of my interests, creative or otherwise, at some point in my life. Nothing brings me greater joy than being outside.

Time Management 101 for Data Science Dummies

You look at your schedule and think to yourself, “Hmm, that programming assignment looks easy. I’ll do it the day before it’s due.” 

Don’t do that. That’s how it gets you. Programs put on a face of innocence only to take a toll of several tedious hours of coding.

Brian Freeman, a fellow data science (DS) major, agrees. When I interviewed him this week, he said, “It doesn’t matter how proficient you are in programming or working through proofs. You will get stuck with no idea why,” and I know that feeling all too well. For DS majors, the concept of time gets thrown out the window. You’ll start a problem at 9 pm, and before you know it, the sun’s peeking through the window. Time management is ridiculously important.

Brian Freeman – sophomore data science major

Brian is my go-to DS student and when I asked, he provided an outlook of his daily schedule. I realized that his structure would benefit not only me, but all of us in this major alike. It’s easy to picture and goes something like this:

  1. Between 9:00-10:30 in the morning, he does easy homework to get into a productive mindset
  2. For an hour after that, he exercises
  3. Around noonish, it’s lunchtime
  4. After eating, it’s straight to the robotics club room
  5. He takes his Zoom classes in the room to stay involved in robotics discussions
  6. Promptly at 5:30, he’ll get dinner
  7. In between classes and eating, he practices driving the robot and works on customizing its code
  8. Usually, after 6:30 or so, he’ll head home to do the rest of his homework

Brian’s schedule is a good model because classes and homework are evenly distributed throughout the day. He admits that doing one task for a long time can be mentally draining, so setting up times to wake up, eat, and sleep provides a rigid framework. The gaps in that framework get filled with extracurricular activities and personal time.

This correlates to another one of Brian’s genius tidbits. “The day before, I usually come up with a rough outline of what I want to do during the day.” This will help put your work and available time into perspective, which we all need to efficiently and effectively complete tasks and stay ahead. The next day will feel less daunting, preparing you mentally to be productive.

Dr. James Rauff, one of our professors, suggested similar practices when I asked him for advice earlier this week. “Start as soon as an assignment is given and take lots of breaks,” he says, “Spread it out. Have a ‘coding’ period in your calendar specifically for that.” 

Dr. James Rauff – professor of mathematics and computer science

In essence, planning and organization are what will keep us on track without lagging. I struggle with this a lot, and so hearing the same thing from my peer and my professor helped me figure out what I had to do.

Take it from me – don’t procrastinate that program, or it’ll haunt you. I hope Brian and Dr. Rauff’s valuable insight motivate you as much as it did me. Let’s get our lives back together, one bit at a time.

– Bushra Ibrahim

Bushra is a sophomore data science and computer science double major at Millikin University. With creative hobbies such as drawing, painting, and writing and more technical interests in mathematics, computer languages, and technology, she chose to follow an academic path that could entertain both. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are areas in which she hopes to build a career.

Parks & Rec – A Day in the Life of a Sport and Recreation Management Major

When most college students hear about the Sport and Recreation Management major, they immediately think of jocks who want an easy ride through college and are out to own a professional sports team someday. However, that could not be further from the truth. At Millikin University, the sport and recreation management major is anything but easy, and the students who take it are prepared to work in plenty of settings besides the pros.

Now, the first misconception regarding the sport and recreation major is that the students want an easy ride through college. However, the workload of a sport and rec major can be just as challenging to balance as any other major on campus. One reason for this is the number of extra-curricular activities that sport and rec majors are involved in. For example, over 90% of Class of 2022 sport and rec majors are on an athletic team at Millikin, and 100% have played at some point during their Millikin career. Coupling athletics, with sport and rec work, and other extracurriculars can be extremely challenging. I can tell you that from personal experience.

But enough about myself. I sat down with Millikin Junior Dawson Jones to get his takes on balancing the workload. Jones said that a lot of the struggle was time management. “It can be tough to find the time to sit down and write 2 multi-page papers a week when you have practices and games every day to go with classes and other extracurriculars”. However, Jones, along with other student-athletes at Millikin, find a way to balance out the time and give school their all. The time spent by sport and rec majors completing work and studying is usually around 2 hours per night. For most of us, nighttime is the only time we have available to complete our work and study up. Our mornings and early parts of the day are often spent in class, and our afternoons and evening are often spent in practices, games, and co/extra-curricular activities.

However, all the grinding to make the time is worth it in the end. The sport and rec major was recently overhauled to include a broader range of recreation-based curriculum. I asked Assistant Professor Joel Blanco about the reasoning behind the changes. “We wanted to broaden the major to prepare our graduates for more fields. Sure, there are jobs in pro sports, but there are only so many pro sports teams, whereas the vast majority of municipalities have parks and rec department”. Blanco’s words are not empty. The opportunities that this program prepares you for are limitless. If you asked a current sport and rec major what they wanted to do after college, you would get plenty of answers besides, “Have my own sports team”.

If you are looking into sport and recreation management as your major, I would recommend this. Come into this program with an open mind, and a good work ethic. You have no idea how many doors may open for you here at Millikin.

Dawson Jones, Junior
Sport & Rec Management
Joel Blanco, Assistant Professor
Millikin University
Nick Nemeth, Junior
Sport & Rec Management Major

Nick Nemeth is a Junior currently studying Sport and Recreation Management with a minor in communication at Millikin University. He is a student-athlete working in intercollegiate athletics as well as residence life.

Important Tips to Avoid Stress for Accounting Students

Earning a degree in accounting is a great investment in yourself and your future. If you’re reading this, you probably already know this degree comes with an array of career opportunities and is an awesome foundation for growth in both your career and personal life.

As accounting students, we must endure hard work to reap all that reward. When asking accounting student and Delta Mu Delta member Brandon Lockhart how he spends his time as a full time student he says, “I aim to be as efficient as possible in my time allocation.” He then provided a breakdown of how he allocates his time efficiently:

  •  He spends about five hours a week per class outside of the classroom
    • Two hours of reading and outlining the chapter
    • One to two hours of homework
    • One to two hours of a study retention schedule
      • This involves reworking homework problems and reviewing class notes

His study retention schedule is key to both learning the material and avoiding the cram right before an exam. It involves reviewing the homework and notes the day after completion, then again in two days and in ten days. This schedule was highlighted in Larry Lagerstrom’s book How to Ace College: Eight Research-Based Action Principles and the Cognitive Power Zone System as the best way to retain the information you are taught.

My accounting professor, Carol, gave me great advice that has made a huge difference in how I approach my study material. She suggested, “As you read through the textbook and browse your notes, think about how you can explain the material to other students. This will really help with comprehension of the material.” It reminds me of a quote by Yogi Bhajan, “If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.” Looking at your class material in this way will really help solidify an understanding instead of memorizing.

Now that I have covered how to efficiently handle your time spent on the curriculum, I should discuss how to spend your time wisely outside of the curriculum.  In my experience, this time outside of school is just as important as the material covered. A major focus of mine is keeping my mind, body and spirit in a healthy state in order to bring my best effort to the many tasks required of me. To do this I focus on healthy eating, exercising and mental health:

  • Healthy eating
    • I spend around three hours each Saturday morning to batch cook my meals for the week. This allows me to eat healthy food throughout the week without much time or effort.
    • Healthy meals includes ample fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and hydration
    • Eating high-quality foods that contain a lot of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants has been shown to nourish the brain and protect it from oxidative stress.
  • Exercise
    • I spend around 60-90 minutes daily on exercise.
    • This consists of any type of movement from taking a walk with my dogs to running or weight training.
    • “Exercising regularly is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce the symptoms of ADHD and improve concentration, motivation, memory, and mood. Physical activity immediately boosts the brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels—all of which affect focus and attention.”, according to helpguide.org.
  • Mental health
    • Both eating healthy and exercise nurture my spirit by reducing stress and increasing positive hormones like those listed above.
    • I try to take time away from studies and duties to spend time with friends and family.
      • Breaks allow you to replenish your energy and creative stores in order to be more productive when you are working.
    • I keep my space and my home organized and tidy.
      • Staying organized allows me to focus on the task at hand without feeling overwhelmed by distraction.

An accounting degree if no easy feat, but with hard work, good habits, and proper time management you are capable of achieving it and so much more. I hope you have enjoyed reading my post, and that you are able to take away a few pointers that will make your life easier and more meaningful.

Carol, Accounting Professor
Brandon Lockhart

by Megan Lockhart

Studying the world of accounting at Millikin University. Bookkeeper. Administration assistant. Personal assistant to two mini-dachshunds, Walter & Henry. #meganlockhartportfolio

Studying to Save the World: the Passion of Environmental Studies

College is stressful as it is, but is it more stressful when you carry the weight of the future of the world on your back? This is the reality of students studying Environmental Studies, where climate change is the most prominent issue that students focus on. With the weight of the world’s future on their shoulders, it’s hard to imagine what a day in the life of an Environmental Studies student is like. Although I am an Environmental Studies major, I also study Philosophy/Pre-Law, so getting the perspective of another Environmental Studies major is always helpful in fully understanding how other students spend their time on campus.

            I interviewed Maria Holloway-Racine, a second year Environmental Studies major at Millikin University, about her day and how she feels about majoring in Environmental Studies. Maria also majors in acting, so similarly to me, Maria has a full agenda. Maria gets up at 8 am to shower and get dressed, then goes to work in the costume shop in the School of Theatre and Dance, where she hand sews different costumes for the department.

Today, she stopped at Einstein’s to grab a quick egg and cheese bagel before going to the University Commons to work on homework for Global Environmentalism class, as well as attend a Zoom class in one of the University Commons Zoom rooms. Afterwards, she squeezed in time for a nap before dinner, then went right back to working on homework until it was time for bed. Maria’s schedule is similar to mine in the way that there is little downtime in our daily schedules. Although her days are busy, Maria contends that her major is not only morally fulfilling, but enjoyable as well.

            With the opportunity I was presented with to interview Maria, I first asked her what her favorite part about being an Environmental Studies major was. She replied, “I like studying Environmental Studies because it gives me an opportunity to think about the planet on a regular basis. I believe that our environment is the most sacred thing we have, including the biodiversity and ecological landscape. It is our job to protect that, and I feel like I am doing my duty by learning about our earth and having compassion for it.” Maria’s passion for the environment truly shines through the way that she views her courses. When asked what her favorite courses were that she’s taken, Maria said “Some of my favorite classes are my environmental classes (because I absolutely love professor O’Conner) and I often really resonate with my professors and the lessons we learn.” Professors are a large part of student success at Millikin University, and Professor O’Conner is the source of motivation for students studying Environmental Studies, or rather, advisees.

            I also had the opportunity to interview Professor O’Conner, in which she elaborated on how Environmental Studies majors feel about their studies. When asked about how her advisees feel about their general work load, she replied “No one’s really complained about…There are one or two classes that are challenging but I think on a daily basis I find that the majority of Environmental Studies majors are successful.” To build off of that response, I asked her what she thinks sets apart Environmental Studies majors from other majors on campus, to which O’Conner replied: “To me, it’s their passion for helping the planet, obviously. But just the empathy of it… Being an Environmental Studies major is looking at how you can help not only the planet, but realizing that everything is connected, and once you help the planet, you’re also helping socially, economically, politically, all of those things are combined, so you really have to be a student that’s able to think outside the box and think about problems and solutions from a multitude of ways.” Professor O’Conner is beloved by all of her students and continues to be a “cheerleader” for her advisees, as Maria describes it.

            With the imminent threat of climate change accelerating, Environmental Studies students feel that they have a bigger picture to focus on than other common majors. Although studies can become overwhelming, the passion, drive, and support from professors that Environmental Studies students experience make the work all that more rewarding. When it comes to studying the environment, the best advice I have is this: always keep a positive mindset, and remember that with hard work comes great reward, not only for you, but for everyone else that is impacted by the work you do.

Hannah Prochnow is a sophomore double major in Environmental Studies and Philosophy/Pre-Law at Millikin University. Prochnow currently works as an office assistant in the Honors Office for the Honors Program at Millikin, where she has gained experience working with school faculty and spent time familiarizing herself with the inner workings of campus business. In her free time, Prochnow spends time reading classic novelists, as well as spending time outdoors when the weather permits and indulging in video games.

Hannah Prochnow

Adult Learning Program

Hello my name is Kari Quintenz, I am a Senior in the Flex Learning Program and I am majoring in Organizational Leadership. The student that I interviewed is also a senior and major is also Organizational Leadership and his name is Mike. We both are in the same co-hort program that we look to be graduating in December, 2021.

Mike, works at Caterpiller working 40-60 hours a week, depending on the work load of the week or month. He gets to work between 4am-6am and gets off at 3pm. On slow periods, he is able to get some reading in for any upcoming papers that are due. Flex Adult Learning Program, time management is essential, by making an appointment for yourself to work on homework, it allows him to get the work done on time. He loves to bowl, play softball and he also plays tennis. Depending on the season, he could be doing all 3 at the same time, but for the most part, he is pretty much just doing 2. He reminded me again that Time Management skills necessary to be successful in this program or you could get lost.

The professor that I interviewed was Melinda Rueter, Adjunct Professor in the Communication Dept. The class that we had with her was Organizational Communication and Conflict, OL343.

The best advice that Melinda offered was to always have time Management on your side. Time is very important especially in the Flex Learning Program because you have to make time for both yourself because have to work on your homework and also if you have a family you have to make time for them as well.

I have a family and there are times that I have stayed up late after my husband and kids have gone to bed to work on my homework just because that is when my house is quiet. Melinda started a Facebook page for our OL-343 class and she would check in to see how we all were doing and we all would send in GIFs with how we were feeling especially when we all had loads of homework.

Tabor Talk: A Day In The Life

 

Hi guys, I am Lex Tennison, a junior business management major, minoring in marketing. I am a part of the Millikin Softball team. I got the chance to interview a few people I have gotten to grow very close to over the past few years through the Tabor School of Business. First we are going to hear from a very good friend of mine, Aly, who I have completed multiple classes with. I thought she would be a great candidate to talk about a day in her life because she is very hard working, has a busy schedule but knows how to manage it, and is very passionate about what she does.

Aly is a senior business management major with a minor in finance. She is a member of the Millikin University Women’s Softball team and recently joined the Millikin Women’s Basketball team as well. She chose Millikin, because the first time she stepped on campus she had this feeling that she was going to call this place home for the next four years. “The environment was unmatched, the professors were incredible, and the student body was very welcoming. I have a deep passion for softball and knowing that I would be able to play a sport while receiving a great education was a big factor for me as well.” Today Aly is taking twenty-one credits while playing two sports…. to say she is busy would be an understatement. “I am so thankful for the support from my friends, coaches, and professors because without them I would be extremely overwhelmed. When I wake up, I usually attend class over zoom. Depending on how much time I have I usually head to the trainers to receive treatment before practice and then I go to basketball practice for two hours, and then softball practice for another two hours. After that, I come home and do homework the rest of the night. It can be stressful at times but I would not have it any other way.” If she could give one piece of advice for anybody coming to Millikin it would be to not be afraid to be uncomfortable and try new things. There are so many people out there that are rooting for you and on your side that it all makes it worth it in the end.

The next individual I got the chance to speak with is Mark Munoz. He is my academic advisor and I have had him as a professor for multiple classes in Tabor. He is an outstanding mentor, let alone an incredible human and I am blessed to call him a friend.

“The management field is exciting yet challenging. We’re seeing new career types emerge. But, we’re also seeing the reconfiguration of how management is practiced. For example, we’re seeing some organizations open up new management roles relating to technology like artificial intelligence (ie, AI Manager or Head of AI).” Munoz mentioned how there weren’t such positions in the past and that companies are also reinventing their organization structures to respond to changes in technology, markets, competition and consumer expectations. “On top of top, the work culture has also changed as a result of the pandemic. We’re seeing remote work gaining acceptance globally. Mark said that with all these changes taking place, management practitioners need to constantly adapt and reinvent themselves and their organizations to keep up. “Overall, it’s all exciting but also challenging in many levels.”

 

A day in the life of an OL student and Instructor

My name is Mike Wilkin. I am a senior in the Tabor School of Business, majoring in Organizational Leadership.

I interviewed a fellow Organizational Leadership student as well as an instructor in the Organizational Leadership program, asking about a typical day in the life of each of them. The fellow student and I have a very similar set up. The instructor is very careful with her day, allowing herself to be more available to the students.

The first person I interviewed is a fellow Flex Learning Program student, names Ashley Galloway. Ashley and I are friends outside of school and play co-ed softball together. Ashley begins her weekdays around 0600, works anywhere from 10-12 hours each day and is on call 24 hours per day and 7 days per week as a Safety Specialist for a facility with 600+ colleagues. She can guarantee a minimum of 5 hours each weekend, but has some weekends that have added an additional 24 hours to the week.

When Ashley gets home, she sits down for about 2-4 hours each night to work on homework. This semester, she is registered for 18 credit hours, so each minute counts. She has 1 class that meets on Zoom on Thursday nights from 1800-2000, but usually gets out a little early.

Ashley has a 15 year old son at home who lives with Autism. He reads at approximately a 3rd grade level, so the challenges and frustration of the remote learning has been at times almost too much. She helps him with his 10th grade homework, which can be difficult while doing her own homework. The weekends have some time built in to get him caught up on his homework.

Along with her own son, her girlfriend has 3 kids as well. One of them goes to St. Theresa, so she has been face to face all year, thankfully. Ashley helps carpool these kids to and from their extra-curricular activities and assisting with 2 of them obtaining their driving permits, which will require additional time.

The remaining time on Sundays are spent finishing her homework for the week and meal prepping for the upcoming work week.

The advice Ashley gives for anyone coming in to the Organizational Leadership program is to “stay structured”. Being a part of the adult Flex Learning Program, she has had to remain disciplined as to not get overwhelmed. She treats the program as part of her daily schedule, meaning she sets aside time each day for her schooling.

She also recommends keeping close track of your graduation requirements. She has had some added stress due to requirement changes over the last year.

She has one final word of advice, “if you start to feel overwhelmed, tell yourself that it is temporary”. Instead of thinking in terms of a semester, “I looked at it in 8 week segments”. She looks at the short term deadlines to help stay focused for a little longer. “It will be over before you know it”.

I then interviewed Melinda Rueter, Adjunct Faculty in the Communications Department. She was my instructor for Organization Communication and Conflict, or OL 343.

Melinda states that every instructor breaks down the time commitments required for in class and out of class work. “This is where structure is important”, she says. Creating that balance between in and out of class can be challenging. She thinks there is an added stress and lack of balance due to the pandemic. In this major, many of the assignments are papers. Those take a “significant amount of time to grade”. Since all of the papers are electronic, there is an added stress on the eyes of the instructor while reading and grading them.

The best advice that Melinda offers is “to find a structure that works, a way to focus”. Have a good support system with both family and classmates. Melinda sys that this major lends itself to collaboration and supporting each other. She says that it is important to find that balance with the family and that everyone should be on the same page in order for things to properly balance.

Expectation of Virtual Study Abroad 2021

My full name is Nhung Thi Hong Tran (Emmy). I am from Vietnam and have been in the United States for more than four years. I am senior and majoring in International Business at Millikin University. I am interested in trading goods and services between country to country, continent to continent. Therefore, I decided to study this major. International Business Major gives me the chance to study abroad for one or two semesters, so I can have more experiences of living abroad and adapt to new cultures and understand their economies. That is also one of my dreams for my career path.

Unfortunately, during COVID-19, the travel restriction is affecting many students including me who wanted to study abroad, so the only way to help them achieve our goal is virtually to study abroad. I was planning to study in Europe because I believed the economy of Europe is very high standard. However, European schools do not open any courses for virtual study with Millikin University in this spring semester.  My next direction is Chile. I have never studied virtual study abroad before, I feel excited for two courses at Finis Terrae University, Chile. This is a great  option for me because the time zone of Decatur, Illinois is behind Santiago, Chile just three hours. That can help me adjust or balance my schedule of studying in both schools. 

Expectation for virtual study abroad experience

I expect three things for my virtual studying in Chile: understanding the courses, developing intercultural skills and having some time to exchange and learn more about the culture of Chileans or other international students. Virtual study abroad is a new option for global academics and it is via the internet. It helps me save a lot of money from staying abroad and also saves me time. I appreciate it, but I am not sure how it works and I cannot experience the reality of Chile. Business styles of each country are different from another even though they are next to each other such as the United States and Mexico. It is not likely that the Chilean economy will be the same as the U.S. Moreover, I have never taken any class in this school or in Chile. I am concerned if there are any troubles while the Chilean professors are presenting and how their institutions are. 

A description of Universidad Finis Terrae

Universidad Finis Terrae or Finis Terrae University (UFT) is one of Millikin University Partnership in Chile. The school is located in Santiago, Chile. It was established in 1981 and owned by the Anahuac University Network. The maxim of UFT is “Vince in Bono Balum” means “Overcoming Evil with Good”. There are 7,909 students, 9 faculties and 476 academic staff in total. UFT has a good faith in Catholic Religion as known as a Cathalic School. There are a lot of activities related to Catholicism at UFT. Their purpose is willing to encourage students in moral, professional technique and high knowledge in their career. UFT put the value of students and society above everything else.