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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2012
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    50

    Default Working full time and going to school

    Well, I'm determined to get my business degree. I want something practical that I can use in the future for either an office job if need be or entrepreneurship. I also just got offered a full time job as a riding instructor. I recently decided I am not interested in being a professional groom or mucking stalls full time but the job seems perfect. I debated posting this as I'm pretty sure what my decision is already but wanted some insight from people in the horse world who have done it before.

    Is it possible to work full-time AND go to school? I plan to get my degree mainly online but want to take weekend classes as well. I would work approximately 8 1/2 - 9 hours a day, 6 days a week but I'm going to ask if it can be 5 days a week so I can go to school. I am used to working 13 hour days/6 days a week so I think I'd have enough time. I've gone to college for several years before now and found school work to be relatively easy. I tend to be book smart and not street smart.

    The college would be about 15-20 minutes away. I have completed almost all my general requirements except a math and science.

    I'm very excited for the job prospect. It sounds like an awesome opportunity to take students to local schooling shows and start my own lesson plans. Teaching is my ultimate interest and I would do it for the rest of my life if it provided for me. I'm very wishy-washy about how I want to be involved in the horse industry but know I don't want to have quite as physical a job as I'm used to having. I think I ultimately want to own a small business and teach riding at a college or private school. I enjoy it too much to give it up and I don't mind not being an ammy in order to do it.

    So has anyone worked full time and gone to school? Is it best to focus on one or the other or is it possible? Also if you have gone to school online any feedback would be appreciated. Did you get a lot out of it?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2007
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    2,504

    Default

    I have done it all four years of college, while keeping my GPA high enough to keep my scholarships. One semester, I worked full time, had full time status at school and did an internship. I was tired all the time but I managed it. It's just a matter of arranging your schedule.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2006
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
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    4,520

    Default

    As you know you can work full time and still make it through college.... your pathway may not work as if I understand you correctly you will be a riding instructor but not available for Saturday riding lessonsor shows since you will have college classes on Saturday.

    You may want to flip everything around by going to classes during the mornings and early afternoon Monday through Friday (some campuses are on Monday through Thursdays)

    I worked in Kentucky's saddlehorse industry full time while attending University of Louisville's School of Business. But even so was able to do the four year program in three because I went year round (those intersessions between Spring and Summer were an easy way to pick up lots of hours quickly).

    If you have your track card, you can work Churchill Downs as an exercise rider in the morning and attend classes late mornings and afternoons.


    Whatever you do, it will be much easier to be in a formed study group of like individuals with the same goal; I was in one of six people. We each were assigned a class to report on from our specific field of major... at this time there was not a cap on the number of semester hours a student could take...you paid for full time by paying for 12 semester hours... we were taking 21 to 24 hours a semester (they changed that after we graduated) We were all business students, we saw the advantage of how to reduce the cost of the degree by about 50%. Also at that time there was no required attendance of any of the classes.


    We met twice a week to exchange notes and to answer specific questions regarding your assigned class... basically we taught the class to the other members.


    We did find out that most all professors did very little to update their lectures .... one of the group's father had taken a marketing class by the same profession that his son took... son had dad's notes from twenty years before hand and the class was the same.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 11, 2010
    Posts
    906

    Default

    I worked full time while completing the fourth year of my bachelors degree (bonus...company reimbursed my tuition ). I currently am completing my masters degree while working full time as well.

    The masters program has been blended, both online and in class work. Depending on how the online classes are structured you may work synchronously or asynchronously on your course work meaning you may have set times to meet with your class or it may be all self paced. Particularly with the self paced courses you will have to be disciplined and allocate your time appropriately or find yourself panicking to cram it all in at the end.

    It's been exhausting, and my husband thinks I'm nuts However, the degree is in a field I had wanted to break into, and halfway through the program I was offered a position directly related to my studies, so it was worth it.

    clanter makes a good point...many horse related activities occur on the weekend, so you should consider that as you make your decision about school and this prospective job.

    Good luck!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2004
    Location
    Rixeyville, VA
    Posts
    6,605

    Default

    Whatever you do, get agreement up front about the school schedule issues before taking the job. If you can get it in writing, even better. As other have said, being a riding instrutor generally means working weekends for lessons and shows. It may be easier to take Tuesday/Thursday classes for example.

    I'd also recommend not going the strictly online route. Part of the value of an education is networking with other people. Nothing is better than live interaction with faculty, students and the college community. Online is fine, but so many of the skills we need to learn involve working in people. I've found work through being in a classroom learning situation on several occasions.

    What clanter suggests about finding a study group of peers also is important. I did that in my masters program and it made life so much easier.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2009
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    Rock Chalk!
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    It absolutely can b done. It's not always fun, but is doable. I worked part-time during my undergrad, but did my masters degrees when I was teaching full time and coaching. As was everyone in my class. It took some late nights, a lot of studying on weekends, but worked out fine. My sister got her law degree while working full time as the financial director for a group of psychologists. And raised two boys while doing it.
    A proud friend of bar.ka.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2000
    Location
    MA
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    12,714

    Default

    It can be done, but you need to be a decent student to begin with, and have enough discipline to stay current with your classwork.

    I've seen students who put the job in the first place priority-wise, and they end up having to repeat a course for $$$ tuition because of a $10/hr job. Not a wise economic choice.
    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2009
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    a little north of Columbus GA
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    Default

    You will have to decide what comes first. Is it going to be a last minute lesson for one of your students before the show, or your classwork?

    I was lucky to have understanding employers for most of my bachelor's degree classes, and then I worked *at* the university for a large chunk of it. Obviously, they valued education and had no problem with me using vacation time and taking the day off for big exams, etc.

    Problems will happen with both your employer _and_ your professor think that they should be the center of your universe. Don't get stuck in the middle of that.
    --
    Wendy
    ... and Patrick



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 2, 2006
    Location
    Chicagoland
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    1,761

    Default

    I work a full time job (40 hrs per week...8-4:30 M-F), work part time at my barn (1-5 Sat, 9-1 Sun, and roughly 6-8:30 Wed nights), and I'm in first semester at community college.

    My back to school decision came later than most, I'm 28. I've done this semester totally online, and only took two classes because I was afraid of overwhelming myself. The good news is I feel very good about adding a third class next semester. If I can manage four I absolutely will. It probably helps that I plan to do as many classes as I can online. I had some people tell me that online classes didn't work for them, but so far I have loved it. The college is also fairly close by, so for classes I want to, or have to, take at the school it should be pretty doable.

    My only concern is that my boss will likely not be very willing to help if I have a scheduling conflict anytime in the future. I suppose I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

    Some days my schedule feels really really busy, and I tend to get a lot of anxiety when I feel overwhelmed. But I also like staying busy so most of the time it's fine.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
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    Default

    My daughter worked over 30 hours (Friday afternoon, 14 hours each on Saturday and Sunday) while taking 21 credits, so it can be done. It wasn't a pleasant semester...for any of us.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  11. #11
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    Nov. 18, 2010
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    california
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    Default

    Yes, I worked full-time and went to school mainly full time but I did take a couple of semesters off to replenish my bank account. I never qualified for financial aid since I worked full-time.

    Good luck it is so worth it !



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2005
    Location
    washington state
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    8,502

    Default

    I work full time and go to college full time. I also braid during show season!

    You can do it! I made the Deans List even But! You may have to give up some of your social life There are many, many days I have to say no because I am writing an APA style paper, figuring out depreciation, or doing many algebraic equations LOL!!

    I should have my BS in Accounting by Dec 2014 (2 years!), my CMA (Certified Management Accountant) within 2015 and I hope to start my MBA with a cognate in Accounting by 2016 or 2017.

    Oh yes! I have two more weeks of school then I have no classes until Jan. 14. I seriously don;t know what to do with myself!
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2012
    Posts
    50

    Default

    Thanks everyone for the suggestions and opinions! I have decided to take the job and go to school as well. I know I can do this, it's just a matter of prioritizing and scheduling. Luckily most of the schooling shows are at the actual barn so I won't be driving out of the way to them. I will also be living on the premises.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
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    11,372

    Default

    I worked full time and went to school full time on a regular schedule (no online classes.) It was hard. I wish no one had to do it.

    If you have to, I wish you the best. I've never been so damned tired. But it CAN be done.

    Best wishes!
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
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    Default

    I earned my graduate degree while working full-time. I did have a salaried, 9-5 day job, which helped as I knew that my evenings and weekends were nearly always "mine". Except during "budget season" at work, where I had to work weekends, which, inconveniently, coincided with finals at school...there was that once a year terrible time where I was up nearly around the clock for a week or so. I was divorced with a young child at the time, but my ex-husband was pretty good about arranging visitation around my class schedule (he was in school too), so we'd change which nights he had my son so that I could go to class when son was at his house and he could go to class when son was at my house. It took 4 years to get a 2 year degree (I went summers too). Not that bad, really.

    I think it would be much harder if you did shift work or didn't have the same work schedule every week, so that is something to take into consideration.

    I was NOT involved with horses at that time...all I was doing was working, caring for boy and going to school, if I'd had horses or any other time consuming activity at the time, it might not have worked.


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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 1, 2007
    Location
    Gettysburg, PA
    Posts
    2,636

    Default

    I did it for both my undergrad and graduate degrees. Expect very little down/free time. It allowed me to come out with a BS and Masters with no college loans hanging over me, so to me very worth it.
    Epona Farm
    Irish Draughts and Irish Sport horses

    Join us on Facebook



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    69

    Default

    Yes it can be done. Like someone else mentioned, you have to already be a good student with a disciplined attitude in place. I currently attend a community college and carried 14 units this past semester and also worked. I have a friend that also goes to a CC but she works a retail job, a vet tech job, teaches swim lessons and somehow trains for marathons in there somewhere.

    If you put your mind to it, you can get it done! Good luck



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    436

    Default

    I work full time as a veterinary technician and am in nursing school full time to get my BSN. I have a year and a half to go. It is difficult, and I only get 4 hours of sleep 3 days a week, but it can be done. Focus on your goals, set a plan and stick to it, and go riding whenever you get the chance to burn off some steam!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 6, 2006
    Location
    in the clouds
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    3,851

    Default

    I'm doing it with online classes. I am almost done though! Taken me a long time.



  20. #20
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    Jan. 27, 2004
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    Yonder, USA
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    2,561

    Default

    I did it for the better part of 8 years, though a couple of degrees. It's absolutely exhausting, but totally worth it (especially if you don't end up with a lot of--or any--loans to pay back).

    In addition to what others have said (good advice!), it takes a lot of discipline on both yours and your employer's part. "Just this once" can get to be a habit. You both have to agree that school comes first and be committed to making it work. Don't underestimate how much harder it can be to schedule the classes you need (and, conversely, your work schedule) as you get farther along and a class you must take to graduate is offered only specific days/times.
    ---------------------------



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