Tips from a Graduate and Student Success Coach: Hannah Lynch

Hannah 1Some people say the happiest day of their lives is their wedding day.  As someone who has yet to get married I can without a doubt say the happiest day of my life was when I received my Masters of Science in Management degree at Excelsior College.

As an adult student I was juggling work, school, and life.  Many nights were spent at work after 5:00 pm in the Student Success Center finishing up a discussion post or essay.  I also utilized my 15 minute breaks and hour lunch to complete an assignment or respond to a classmate’s post.  Weekend mornings were also dedicated to my studies.  Did I slip some weeks?  Absolutely.  Did I fail a quiz or two?  Absolutely.  But I did not let that failure identify me.  I used it as a learning experience.

Without a doubt I can say that my job as a Success Coach and my interaction with students strengthened my motivation to allow me to persevere and succeed in my studies.  One question Success Coaches ask students revolves around support – “Who do you have in your life who is cheering you on while you get your degree?”.  It is really important for students to have that support network to encourage them while they are in school that will drive their success.  My family, friends, and colleagues were all such a great support system while I was obtaining my MSM degree.  The constant check-ins, listening to me vent over an assignment, and cheering me on over the wins really encouraged me to push forward in school.  Without this support system I think my experience would have been a rocky road.  If you are student reading this and think you have no support system go out and tell someone.  Tell a colleague, friend, family member, or neighbor (tell the world!).

My work as a Success Coach has allowed me to see regular people like you and I do amazing things.  The students at Excelsior College continue to inspire and motivate me.  One minute I will be talking to a student who is juggling five kids, works nights, and still finds the time to get their studies done.  The next minute I am talking to a military service member who is about to move his family to another country due to being deployed and still manages to get their discussion posts completed.  I think if they can do it so can I!  Remember you are not the only one doing this, there is a whole community of students who are experiencing the same obstacles while they finish their degree.

I encourage you to find that support system and find what motivates you.  Write it down! Go one step further – write down your ultimate goal on a sticky note and post it everywhere!  My students love doing this.  Writing down your ultimate goal makes it concrete and that much more within reach.  Lastly, as I encourage my students to do, set SMART goals/mini goals for yourself.  Mini goals are much more doable and make you feel like you have conquered the world.  BECAUSE YOU HAVE!

Thank you for reading a snippet of my success story at Excelsior College and the tools I used to get through it.  I hope it inspires you to get through that discussion post due this week or a required reading!  Whatever is on your plate in life – YOU GOT THIS!

Hannah Lynch, ’16