Working full-time and attending graduate school - even part-time - seemed like a daunting challenge when I decided to enroll in the Master of Science in Healthcare Policy and Economics last fall. I was uncertain that I could successfully balance my work and academic responsibilities, as well as a social life with friends and family. Choosing an academic institution that would support this lifestyle was crucial in my decision to attend Weill Cornell.
I have been working full-time as a fundraiser in the Development Office at Weill Cornell Medicine for 16 months. Since beginning the master’s program, I have taken two courses each term. All of my classes are in the evening which has made it easy to attend them after work. The later class times have been a key factor in my success in the program and in being able to balance work and school.
The faculty and staff at the Department of Healthcare Policy and Research have been incredibly supportive and readily make themselves available for students. Since my first term I have been very impressed with the professors’ mindfulness of students with full-time jobs when scheduling homework deadlines and setting up office hours. The faculty and staff regularly check-in with the students and ask for feedback on the courses. They are very focused on our needs and interests and want us to succeed.
Although being successful at work and school is important, it is equally important to have an active social life. The department fosters a collaborative environment for the students and hosts many social events such as bowling night, holiday parties, and a mid-term happy hour. These events allow us to get to know the faculty and staff better while providing an opportunity to bond with our classmates from all of the department’s programs. Along with the department’s commitment to providing a rich learning environment, these events create a balanced educational experience that I don’t believe I would have received elsewhere.
As each term passes it becomes clearer that this program was the ideal choice for me. I immediately sensed that I was part of a tight-knit community when I started the program and that feeling has only gotten stronger with time. The personal attention provided to the students by the faculty and staff and the commitment of my wonderful classmates has allowed me to have an exceptional learning experience while leading a rewarding and balanced life.