Shea's Experience

Program: Training and Development

Why did you choose UW-Stout?
After completing my undergraduate degree at UW-Stout, I knew I wanted to continue my education on this campus. My bachelor’s degree provided opportunities not just within the classroom, but outside experience as well. With this perception in mind, I sought out UW-Stout Graduate School and stumbled upon the MS in Training and Development. Class flexibility, small class sizes, a broad scope of employment opportunities, and the ability to build lasting professor-student and peer relationships are a few of the characteristics I found appealing and solidified my continued education at Stout.

What was your favorite part of your first semester of graduate school?
The in-class camaraderie was amazing. It drew me to class each week. Most of the classes available in my degree are offered in the afternoon or at night. This was not a thrilling piece of information for me, but my first opinion was quickly replaced with a more enthusiastic realization after a couple classes.

Going to class was fun.  I looked forward to each week because my peers and I enjoyed ourselves. The professor provided the topic of the day, pushed us for some discussion, and then most of the time we ran with it. We would share our experiences and how they related to the topic or did not relate, but instead shared how we might work with a similar situation in our near future.  When each semester ended, I actually became a little sad because I recognized the fact I would not see my classmates every week or my professor. I knew the class would end, but it did not occur to me that I would miss the experience as much as I have.

Was graduate school anything like you imagined it to be when you first started?

Yes and no. I really did not have a complete idea of what graduate school would be. I thought it was going to be more labor intensive as well as demanding than undergrad. Well, it is demanding and it has been more labor intensive, but there were some surprises too. Through all the hard work, which should be expected from pursuing a second degree, it was nice to learn more about myself as a student and a professional through the personal integrity, perseverance, and tenacity I have come to rely on when completing a task, project, and working with my peers.

What was the biggest surprise about graduate school?
The credit /class load was my biggest surprise. You really cannot judge a class and its workload by its number of credits. It was surprising how large the workload was for two classes that was a total of six credits. It kept me busy, but a good busy. For some, working with 12 credits is just fine. I am enjoying working at a slower pace. It works for me to take my time with two or three classes.   

How has your program shaped your life and career goals?

My program has actually led me to reevaluate my career goals and my expectations. There are many opportunities for me in different career areas. I like having that variety and am okay with not knowing my career direction yet. I am given opportunities within my program to kind of figure that out, which is nice to have.

What is one piece of advice that you wish you had received before starting graduate school?
Do not go in with expectations that are set in stone.  Be a sponge ready to soak up information because there is a lot to learn not just from the professors or the peers, but from the experiences and opportunities that come along whether you are ready for them or not.

What opportunities have been presented to your because of your program?
Through a class called Organization Development, my classmates and I had the opportunity to work with non-profit organizations and other companies on a one-on-one basis. The goal was to receive experience assessing and evaluating a company and relaying their strengths and how they might make improvements. It was a great opportunity and I learned a lot of necessary improvements about myself.

How would you describe the UW-Stout campus?
The UW-Stout campus has many unique qualities and hidden treasures that each individual enjoys differently. For me, I enjoyed finding different study spots filled with different personalities attached to them. I also enjoyed being surprised with entertainment announcements I had forgotten about; live music on Thursdays, ice cream Tuesdays with the Chancellor, and other special events scattered throughout the year.

Shea Stori

"Class flexibility, small class sizes, a broad scope of employment opportunities, and the ability to build lasting professor-student and peer relationships are a few of the characteristics I found appealing and solidified my continued education at Stout."