Having just wrapped-up my first year in the DEL program, I decided to reflect on my lessons learned thus far and offer some advice to future DEL students.
Press SUBMIT! Alison Murphy, a recent Class of 2015 DEL-MEM graduate, introduced me to a phrase that I’ve made into my personal DEL mantra: “don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.” Like others, I can revise, tweak, and wordsmith assignments to death. I sometimes find it hard to discern when I’ve ceased making an assignment better, and commenced just making it different. Know when it is time to press submit and move on to something else.
Reach out…to your professors, your classmates, your mentor, DEL Staff….pretty much anyone who will listen. In a distance learning environment, you may default to operating independently, but the extra effort you put into forming relationships (despite the distance) will translate into an important support system throughout your time at DEL, and beyond.
Work smart. Not every discussion board post needs to be 500 words of mind-altering enlightenment (believe me, everyone LOVES your 150 words post just as much!). All joking aside, the reality is that there may be a time when you have more things to do than hours to do them in. Be deliberate about how you prioritize your workload, and budget your time appropriately (see “Press Submit” above!).
Enjoy now. When you’re in the midst of the semester, with a back-log of case-studies to read and major projects coming due at work, it is tempting to wish for graduation. But going back to campus to celebrate the Class of 2015 Graduates made me realize how quickly the program will be over, and that I should enjoy every minute of it!
See you in the fall for round two!