TGIF: Nicole Hesson

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TGIF:

This Goal Is Finished

Good morning achievers! Hope you’ve had a wonderful week!

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The Achiever

Today’s TGIF achiever is Nicole Hesson. Nicole is a super energetic, spirited educator that Jaime met a couple years ago, and Matt had the pleasure of meeting a few months ago. Upon first meeting her, you will see that she is very intelligent, creative, outgoing, and a little silly! Check out her awesome story of going back to school so that she can take on greater challenges in her life.

I am a Philadelphia native who recently moved back to get my doctorate at Temple University. I earned my BS in Biology at Davidson College in North Carolina. Go ‘Cats! I then came back north to earn my Master of Arts in Teaching at Johns Hopkins while teaching full-time as a Baltimore City Teaching Fellow. After a 3 year stint as a high school teacher, I dove into middle school at a DC charter school. After 7 years of teaching, I had taught 6 different subjects in every grade from 6th through 12th! It was a wonderful experience, but I was ready to transition out of the classroom and into the next challenge.

The Goal

The first goal was to take a class over the summer! The big goal is to get my EdD in Educational Administration.

Why This Goal?

When I decided to enroll in Temple, I wanted to get started right away. I didn’t want to waste any time. I figured a summer class was the best way to get the ball rolling. I intend to get my doctorate in as short a time as possible so I can put my skills to use somewhere that needs me!

The First Step

The first step was contacting my advisor and figuring out if I could take a class. And if I could, which class to take. It definitely turned out to be the toughest step (see next question)!

Challenges

First, my advisor went on sabbatical and was unavailable for consultation. After I contacted another professor in the program, I found out he had given me some incorrect information. (I had already started the process of lining up internships that I didn’t need.) Then, the professor I had contacted did not always answer questions in a timely manner and eventually suggested I wait until the Fall. Finally, I emailed the interim department head and she thought that there was a better program I could enroll in. But, she stated that I probably wouldn’t be able to transfer. I found out from the head of the other department that they were no longer accepting science applications. As you can imagine, at this point, I felt very defeated!

Staying Motivated

I knew I had been accepted to the program, so I tried to focus on the reasons I was accepted. I stayed focused on the fact that someone in the university had a concrete answer to all of my questions. I made it my goal to find who that person (or people) was (or were).

Who Helped?

I went to meet with the new interim department chair in person to solve the issues I was having. Dr. Caldwell – the interim department chair – eventually figured out that the program I was accepted to would work just fine for my life goals. She also signed me up for a summer course! She was the biggest help in achieving my goal. My family and friends were also extremely helpful by listening and helping to come up with solutions. I needed a lot of help focusing towards the end! Email and internet, of course, were a great way to contact people!

TGIF – Celebrate!

I spread the good news to all the people who had heard my plight, listened to my struggles, and tried to help! Then, I finished packing for my big move.

Advice

Remember that somebody, somewhere, knows the answer to the question you are asking. Finding that person might be difficult, but be persistent. Also, have a network to lean on. Sometimes, when you are too far in, it’s hard to see things clearly. A solid network of friends and family definitely helps with that.

What’s Next?

Next up is being a full-time student! I am enrolled for 4 classes in the Fall and am really excited. My long term goal is to be a professor for teachers who are preparing to teach in urban schools. I determined that getting a higher degree was the best way to do that. However, this class I’m taking called Leadership in Higher Education is making me rethink my plans about being a professor. Maybe a college presidency is in my future. Can I get back to you? J


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