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Top tips for graduate school success

Glenn Juchno started his career with the YMCA by bringing inner city youth on bike tours to more rural areas. Today, he's Vice President of Operations for the YMCA of Central Massachusetts, which oversees 6 facilities and serves 70 cities and towns.

Getting ready for the summer session? Nichols Graduate and Professional Studies faculty member Glenn Juchno has some tips to help you succeed! 

Glenn is the Vice President of Operations for the YMCA of Central Massachusetts, as well as an MSOL degree holder. He also teaches for both the MBA and MSOL programs for Nichols, bringing decades of inspirational leadership to the classroom.

While Glenn was pursuing his MSOL at Springfield College, he worked hard to find his own work-life balance and wants you to know you’re not alone.

“I went through that experience as a graduate student. I had two teenagers, I was going to school and working a full-time job,” he said.

These tips helped Glenn finish his degree and eventually led to a successful career in leadership with the YMCA.

Tip 1: Make yourself a priority.

Your education is important, but it’s not the only thing you're focused on. Be sure to build a set a priorities that can ensure your success by providing you happiness and self-worth.

“Start with realistic goals for yourself based off what you’re trying to accomplish,” Glenn said.

Then start blending in your priorities, whether those are your family, staying in shape, or serving your community. 

“It’s about balance,” he said.

Tip 2: Build a schedule that includes time for you.

Graduate school takes a lot of time, so be sure there’s a little time left for you.

“What I found myself doing was sitting down on Sunday nights, looking at my week and asking, ‘where can I squeeze in a little bit of Glenn time?’”

And be sure this is a priority, even with everything else going on.

“It’s always a struggle to say, ‘I’m sorry but I can’t meet with you.’ But you really have to stay true to what your priorities are,” Glenn said.

Tip 3: Be accountable to someone other than yourself.

We all get busy and overwhelmed, and when that happens we might start avoiding our responsibilities.

To help you combat that find a partner that holds you accountable and is supportive, whether they’re a friend, family member, significant other, or even a roommate.

For Glenn, that was his wife.

“I would say to my wife that I’m working on schoolwork tonight from 9 to 11, and it would be 10 minutes after 9 and she would hold me accountable,” Glenn said.

Tip 4: Be flexible.

Glenn’s final tip is important to remember, especially if you’re finding yourself with mounting responsibilities and changes in life.

“Things in life may change, students may have to take a break,” Glenn said. “You just have to be flexible and willing to pivot.”

And if this means taking a little longer to finish your degree, that’s OK.

Want to learn how a master's program can fit into your life? Visit Nichols Graduate and Professional Studies to find out today!