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Here you will find Canisius College graduate students sharing their thoughts and experiences. These posts explore the dedication and responsibilities of a being a graduate student, as well as the triumphs and successes.

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Grad school is a journey.  The MBAPA program presents a rigorous curriculum that pushes you to learn.  As I reflect on some challenging semesters, I am now left with a wealth of knowledge and a great sense of accomplishment.  The endless hours of studying have left me with an extremely rewarding experience.

 

Throughout my time at Canisius the essentials have propelled me through the program.  My taste for coffee has turned into an obsession to motivate me though hours of staying focused on my work.  Finding a balanced schedule with time to run and eat a balanced diet has kept me clear and energized.  The one thing that I did not anticipate being the most critical key to my success was building a strong group of friends to go through the experience with together.

 

The MBAPA program is no doubt a challenge.  From my experience, developing a strong group of friends to share this time with is invaluable.  Having the opportunity to share your day-to-day experience, learn with others, and make some great friends has been my key to survival. As my group pushed through the program, we always found the time to get together away from the books and share a laugh.  Canisius not only provided me with the tools to succeed in the professional world, but also a tight group of friends to support each other through the challenging academic times.  As you embark on your journey through graduate school, remember that finding the time to develop some great friendships can be one of the most beneficial ways to surviving graduate school.

 

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Financing the End

By Cody Elniski | July 21, 2014

The second summer session has reached its half way point for the One-Year MBA students. I am only taking one class during this time called Finance Technology. This course explores the trading and technical aspects of Microsoft Excel and the Stock Market. As an assignment for each week we have to make a strategic trade on a simulated stock market and explain why we did it. For this week’s assignment, I wanted to hedge four stocks, two from the oil industry and two from the electric industry, against one another. Hedging is when you invest in a financial instrument that you expect to increase in value, while simultaneously investing in another instrument you expect to decrease by the same value. The result of my trade was just what I wanted. The two oil stocks generated a loss of $821 while the two electric stocks generated a profit of $890. This resulted in a net profit of $69. I great hedge if you ask me!

We only have three weeks of class left in our program. This has been a very long but rewarding experience. Some of us have secured jobs, others internships, some are still searching. However, there is no doubt in my mind that every student in our program will become very successful in the future. Like our program, my time as your blogger is also slowly coming to an end. By the time I leave my position as One-Year blogger, I will have submitted over thirty entries for you to read through. I hope they can provide a unique mindset into what the One-Year program, and Buffalo, has to offer when you begin your journey in a few weeks. Due to not having time to post an entry last week, I will be posting another one later in the week. Look forward to it!

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Listen to your body!

By Kilee Brown | July 21, 2014

Hi all,
Have you ever had an ache or a pain, or maybe even an illness that you KNEW was there but DID NOT pay attention to? I think we all have. We’re either in denial or afraid to see a professional.

Last week, lately I have been really good about exercising 5 days a week and eating well. But last week at the gym I had to cut my workout short because I got light-headed. WHAT? I suddenly realized that since I had been exercising so much that I also needed to put more food into my body. Since reestablishing a better balanced diet, I am feeling WONDERFUL with tons of energy! Well that energy only lasts until about 7pm, but I’ll take what I can get. I see a personal trainer and she always tells me to “listen to my body.” And I’m very guilty of not always doing that.

This applies to more than just exercise. Constant headaches and muscle tension are signs of stress. These types of things can usually be treated ourselves. But when something else is out of whack, it might be time to see a doctor or other health professional.

As a counselor in training, we are taught to take care of ourselves and in todays world, it’s often difficult. We are always being pushed into a thousand directions, but sometimes we have to think about ourselves for a bit. If our bodies and minds are not functioning healthily, we cannot be a help to our friends, families, and OUR CLIENTS.

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Learning From Each Other

By Kilee Brown | July 15, 2014

It is no surprise to many that I RAVE about graduate school to everyone that I know. I HONESTLY do. I love this program for so many reasons. BUT the other night in class I realized ANOTHER reason why.

In college classes (especially undergraduate) students are taught from “curriculum”. A professor stands up in front of you and talks about what it is you “need to know” about your major, what to “do” and what “not to do.” At least that has been my experience with the majority of my undergraduate professors.

In the School Counseling/Mental Health program, the professors still use textbooks, articles, and other traditional teaching methods, but the majority of them teach using EXPERIENCE in addition to traditional methods. For me, this brings the profession to life and I am LEARNING more based on their admitted mistakes, and most importantly their wisdom and insight.

I could give many examples of my professors doing this, but the other night in my class, my professor conceptualized a family with us. She drew out a family tree and explained the many components of a family with multiple mental health diagnoses. To me, this was invaluable. I left class that night, feeling like I had spent time working with that family. I also felt like I had more knowledge and hope for when I have to someday take on a challenge as a school counselor.

Another activity that we are doing in class is each of us is picking a mental health disorder, researching it, and sharing our findings with the class. Many of the students in my class have experience with these disorders (myself included) and hearing the different experiences both personally and professionally is simply amazing. We are bouncing ideas off of each other, supporting our ideas with clinical research and information, and questioning each other in a professional way. As graduate students should.

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Study Time

By Cody Elniski | July 14, 2014

Class is all about taking notes and absorbing information. The professor creates interactive dynamics which allow students to explore lessons as they wish. However, most of what you learn in college takes place outside of the classroom. Sure you are introduced to new and exciting topics while in class, but you cannot truly comprehend the material from that exposure alone. The majority of your knowledge is stored while studying the notes you have feverishly written down during class. A major problem is allocating enough of your day to accomplish this task. This week’s blog entry will discuss the method I use to find time to study.

Everybody has a preferred way to study. It can range from flash cards to memorization. No matter the medium, effectively learning each course could be very time consuming. Therefore, to adequately learn the material, I conduct excellent time management throughout the semester. To arrive at school, my commute consists of riding both a bus and a train. This trip amounts to about forty minutes and occurs four days a week. Instead of drifting off into space, I use this time to study my notes. By rewriting all of my notes into my phone, it allows me to look at them on the go whenever I can. During long breaks between classes, I will walk in the park while going over my notes in my phone. It has proved to be very successful and has helped me tremendously. I am always very busy and any extra time I can get is beneficial. I would love to know how you all find time to study. Do you rewrite your notes in your phone like I do? Please comment below and let me know! I hope you enjoyed the blog for this week and I look forward to writing the next entry!

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Gettin’ to work!

By Kilee Brown | July 8, 2014

Hi all,
I hope this summer finds you in good health and happiness!

A few weeks ago, I went to work just like any other Sunday. I however, did not expect to leave work having completed my first lethality assessment for suicide. I knew the young was NOT suicidal, but I had to complete the assessment to make sure every one remained safe. As I was completing the assessment I thought back to the words of one of my professors (actually many of them have made similar statements) “They will tell you if they wish to kill themselves. They won’t hesitate and they will be honest.” And were they right! During the assessment, I realized that this was not about the questions I was asking. It was about making the young man comfortable enough to talk to me and building a deeper relationship with him. The young man is safe, and making necessary steps of recovery, along with his family.

The other night in class, I talked about completing the assessment and I realized how much my classes in graduate school prepared me for that moment. Thinking back to that day, I realized that I have an advantage over many of those I work with having the educational background in counseling. One of the staff I work with, had not idea what a lethality assessment was. These are the “things” that you learn by doing. When learning about suicide and the proper assessments in classes, I often felt nervous and thinking ahead, I thought I wouldn’t know what to do. But after having completed the assessment, I feel much more confident in my abilities to handle a crisis.

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This week is all about why I decided to attend graduate school at Canisius!

I completed my undergraduate degree in Childhood Education at Buffalo State College with 3.98 GPA in May 2013, and I was at that point of “What should I do next?” – I honestly wasn’t so sure if I could go right to graduate school or if I should just look for work. I felt an extreme amount of financial pressure by making the decision to attend graduate school since it is very expensive. The decision to attend came around kind of quick as the summer rolled on by, and all a sudden I figured I was making the right decision. I was depressed at the fact of having to be in a lot of debt and having to embark on more challenging school work, but I figured overall that this will help me in my future in many ways. I looked around at options for how I could finance graduate school at Canisius. I came across the graduate assistant job, which I even knew about as an undergraduate student… I got a job as a graduate assistant which helps me pay for about half of my tuition. This is very helpful, although I will still have a tremendous amount of capitalized interest debt to pay in just a few months with no substantial job to pay it back. It has been a rough year having to work but not have any money, and work so hard in school just to do as well as I have. I have definitely struggled financially and will struggle maybe even more after graduating because I will have more bills and even less support. My life revolves around thinking about if I can have enough money to eat, get gas for my car, and get clothes that I need for school… nothing comes easy for me and I do not come from a wealthy background, so I need to keep doing what I can to further myself ahead – I know it’s not going to be easy though. I’m hoping after all of the hard work I’ve put in this last year that luck and fortune will come my way because I am going to need it. I’ve been dedicated to hard work this past year and kept a 4.0 GPA for graduate school – after this summer internship I will be all finished and hopefully still keep my 4.0.

So basically, I decided to go to graduate school in high hopes of finding better opportunities for my future in jobs and personally as well  - I really hope all this work will be worth it and payoff after graduating! I just want to live a good life and worry less about bills than my parents did all throughout their lives, I want to provide an ideal life for myself and my kids in the future.

Thanks for reading! (Anyone have a similar story?)

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Graduate School

By Cody Elniski | July 4, 2014

I chose to go to Graduate School as a way of broadening my horizons. As an undergraduate, I majored in Accounting at the University of Buffalo. Although I was fond of the subject and had a strong interest in it, by the time I was a senior I decided that it was not what I wanted my career path to be. As a result, I started looking at various graduate programs I could utilize to get a Master’s Degree that better suited my interests. After extensive research I narrowed down my degree choice to a Master’s in Business Administration. This degree gives you extensive knowledge in a wide range of business practices. It was exactly what I wanted. The next obstacle I faced was where to attend graduate school?

I desired to stay in the area (Buffalo) so I looked at local schools. These included UB, NCCC, Buffalo State College, and Canisius College. Each of these schools offered MBA programs that lasted between 2-3 years. This included all of them except for Canisius College. Canisius offered a wonderful opportunity to complete an MBA graduate program in just one year. It was a 42 week curriculum that spanned three semesters. I applied to the program and subsequently got accepted. Fast forward to today, and I am 38 weeks into the program with only 4 more weeks to go. When I complete the program, I’ll have the broader range of business expertise that I wanted in about half the time it would normally take. I am very happy with the result and am looking forward to starting my career. This has been a busy week so far but the weekend is here. I hope you all have a happy holiday and enjoy your extended time off. Look forward to the blog for next week!

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The Big Test

By Billy | June 30, 2014

 

Just last week the first summer session came to an end, and I took advantage of the opportunity to get two classes completed so that I can enjoy the remainder of my summer.  Well, before I allowed myself that freedom I went ahead and scheduled the CPA exam.  Students have usually met the criteria to begin the CPA exam after completing the Auditing course and my ultimate goal is to have the exam close to completed when I graduate in May 2015.  One statement I have often heard is that once you begin your full-time accounting career it is extremely difficult to find the time to study for the exam.  Also, employers will take notice during the recruiting process this fall if you have completed parts of the exam.

 

August 8 is the true test and the beginning of my 18-month window to pass the exam.  On this date I will be sitting for the AUD section of the exam.  Reflecting upon all the late nights filled with hours of studying I like to think that I have positioned myself for success.  My review course arrived in the mail yesterday and now I have 5 weeks to prepare.  I have chosen to “self study,” which means that you receive your books In addition to a USB drive filled with lectures and practice questions.  I have yet to dig into the contents, but as I scan through the pages of the Auditing and Attestation book it is calming to see a lot of familiar material.  Tomorrow starts my studying, and it appears obvious that Canisius has provided a solid foundation for me to build my studies upon through my past academic curriculum. Best of luck to all the other students and recent grads as well embarking on this challenging exam!

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Project Coffee

By Cody Elniski | June 27, 2014

Graduate school is both very rewarding and extremely difficult. Essentially, the One-Year MBA program grants an MBA to enrolled students over the course of one year. However, a typical MBA usually takes between two and two and a half years to complete. As a result, there is an enormous amount of material you must learn in order to be successful in this program. I have almost completed the program and will say that without a few necessities, graduate school would have been a lot more difficult. The one thing I cannot go without in graduate school is coffee. Since I was about 16, I have been somewhat of a coffee connoisseur. I highly enjoy the common iced coffee from Tim Horton’s or the elegant Frappuccino from Starbucks. However, I have grown to love the taste and boost of espresso. Espresso is a dark coffee bean that contains high levels of caffeine.

Every morning I usually get some kind of espresso. Whether it is in standalone form, or mixed with something else such as a cappuccino. It provides me with a much needed boost to start my day. Whenever I am on campus all day, which occurs a lot as a One-Year MBA student, I feel the need to get coffee for a second time during the day. This allows me to get a second wind as the day comes to a close. When I get home, I crash and can fall asleep easily to start tomorrow off on the right track. This has been working extremely well and I am happier as a result. The summer semester is half way over now and we will begin to take new classes for the last six weeks we have left. Enjoy the beautiful weather outside and look forward to the blog for next week!

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