• Archives
  • I’ve begun to see the light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not too far in the distant future.  I started taking classes towards my PhD in the summer of 2008 and I will officially be done with course work next semester.  This semester I took two courses, Statistics and Perspectives in Organizational Communication.  Both were challenging but worth it.  I will take two night classes next semester, one related to intergroup communication and the other on communication and workplace dignity. My plan is to finish up my course work in the spring and then spend the entire summer studying for comprehensive exams.  I will take my exams in the fall while working on my dissertation.  My goal is to be graduating in spring 2012. The title of this post is called new hobbies and although this is not a new hobby for me because I’ve been in school for so long but the finishing part is new.  School is also such a large part of my life that I sometimes think it’s the only hobby I have.  I’ve actually started a list called “The things I’m going to do when I graduate” and that list is growing and growing.

    No Comments | Posted in: Work | Tagged with:
  • Class This Fall

    December 12, 2009

    This semester I’m only taking one class. It’s called Qualitative Research Methods. For those who are not familiar with research design, Wikipedia says,

    Qualitative research is a method of inquiry appropriated in many different academic disciplines, traditionally in the social sciences, but also in market research and further contexts. Qualitative researchers aim to gather an in-depth understanding of human behavior and the reasons that govern such behavior. The qualitative method investigates the why and how of decision making, not just what, where, when. Hence, smaller but focused samples are more often needed, rather than large samples.

    Wow, I’m not even sure I would have been able to understand that definition if I wasn’t in the class. In other words, I learned how to conduct a study doing interviews and gathering other kinds of data like journals. For this course I interviewed three millennials about their job satisfaction and had them keep a journal for a week where they wrote about their thoughts on job satisfaction. I just finished my last class yesterday and I am so glad to have my paper done. Here’s a small excerpt from the paper I turned in yesterday.

    The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how job satisfaction was described by millennials working in entry-level professional positions. By examining how millennial’s describe job satisfaction, using qualitative approaches, we can better understand how this new generation of employees is adjusting to the workforce. With this information, researchers can add vital information to the already extensive research on job satisfaction, human resource professionals and managers can recruit and retain qualified millennials, and millennials themselves can better understand themselves as a generational group within the organizational structure. At this stage in the research, job satisfaction is defined as the degree to which an individual feels positively or negatively about the internal or external characteristics of her/his job (Hunt, Chonko, & Wood, 1985). The central question that guided my inquiry was: What is the meaning of job satisfaction to millennials? The study also helped answer the following three sub-questions: What experiences contribute to the job satisfaction of millennials? What experiences contribute to the job dissatisfaction of millennials? What do millennials believe are some strategies employers could take to increase their job satisfaction?

    I plan on taking two classes this next semester. I got lucky enough to find two classes I really wanted to take that were being offered on the same day. So, this spring I’ll be commuting to Lincoln every Wednesday for class from 3-9pm. That means a very long day of working and taking a class. I’ll only have to drive one day though. Overall, my class work is going great and I’m proud to say that I should be done with my course work by August 2011. Then I’ll be working on my dissertation for a year and hopefully be graduating by December 2012.

    No Comments | Posted in: Work | Tagged with:
  • Summer Classes

    August 20, 2009

    This summer was busy for both Dusty and myself. I took two classes in Lincoln and taught a five week public speaking course as well. I started the summer taking a one week intensive course called Influential Books. The objective of the course is to read 13 books related to my interest area over the course of the entire summer. I commuted for one week, met with my classmates, and read three books. Over the course of the next 10 weeks I read 10 additional books and wrote a 60 page write-up on all of them. I must say, it sounded easier than it really was. Some how reading one book a week during the summer doesn’t work out to be as easy as one might think. In the end I did get through it and learned a lot about the history of my discipline and interest area. The second course I took was about learning, teaching, and the brain. We had a guest professor come to Lincoln and spend two weeks with us for an intensive course. I really learned a lot about how the brain works and what this means about how we learn and how I as a teacher can teach. And of course my own teaching.  I love teaching in the summer because the students seem to always be on top of their game.  It always seems a lot more laid back as well because everyone is so focused during those five weeks.  Taking two courses and teaching make the so-called relaxing summer go by fast though.

    No Comments | Posted in: Work | Tagged with:
  • Going Back to School

    October 24, 2008

    I found out this past spring that I was accepted to UNL’s Communication Studies doctoral program. I didn’t waste any time getting back into the rhythm of things and started taking classes this summer. I took a small group communication theory class where I learned all about the workings of small groups and how people communicate in groups. It was an intense three week course but I really enjoyed the discussions and opportunity to learn new things in my field.

    This semester I’m taking an organizational communication theory class. It’s been equally as rewarding as my first class. I’m driving one night a week to Lincoln. I’ve been very luck that the weather has been good and I’ve found a couple of other girls from Omaha that are carpooling with me. Everyone asks how my classes are going and it’s always hard to answer because most classes are a combination of one exam and one major paper and those don’t come until the end of the semester.

    For those of you wondering or who might not know, when you get into a PhD program you must choose a concentration in your field. As of right now, my concentration is organizational communication with a secondary concentration in instructional communication. This really just means that I’ll be taking classes that are focused in these areas.

    No Comments | Posted in: Work | Tagged with: , ,