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Life as a Doctoral Student

New to this blog?  Welcome!  Make sure to check out my first post here that explains my crazy plan to blog everyday for the next six weeks.
This weekend kicked off my third semester in my doctoral program.  Seven more semesters until graduation, May 2015.  On my way to Dr. Josie Ahlquist. But who is really counting?!?
Since starting the program last June, I required a number of significant shifts.  At orientation they called this ‘re-arranging the furniture of your life.’
A few of these for me included:

  1. Find time daily for school, even if it was 10 minutes.
  2. Purchase a new laptop.
  3. Stop teaching Group X fitness classes.
  4. Create a study/writing space is our (very small) apartment.
  5. Cutting down on TV and other time wasters.
  6. Getting used to reading and reading and reading, as well as writing, re-writing and writing again.

But life as a doctoral student in my program is very doable.  Being a student comes very natural to me.  Even in undergrad I knew I would someday get my doctorate.  The entire learning processes (yes even exams) is energizing.  Because of this, I have racked up three degrees:

  • Bachelors of Science in Sociology
  • Bachelors of Science in Human Development
  • Masters of Education in Counseling

Nerd Alert!!

One look in my old office at LMU would give you an idea of my love for learning, as there were two bookshelves crammed with books of every sort.  Now that I have an ipad, my kindle is clouded up or what one may call out of control.

The Higher Education Leadership program at CLU has been a great fit. The program is a 60/40 model with 60% inperson instruction and 40% online.  We attend class one weekend per month, year-round for three years.  Considering this structure, now as a ‘full-time’ student I get nearly 95% control/creation of my schedule.
In other words, I work for myself.
Because of this newly found autonomy, what it means to be a higher education doctoral student is much different than before. Starting the program seven months ago, I was told I would need to ‘re-arrange the furniture of my life.’  Today not only am I doing some rearranging, but experiencing a complete reconstruction of what it means to be me.  No little task.

About Josie

I’m Dr. Josie Ahlquist—a digital engagement and leadership consultant, researcher, educator, and author. I’m passionate about helping people and organizations find purposeful ways to connect, engage, and tell their unique story. I provide consulting, executive coaching, and training for campuses, companies, and organizations that want to learn how to humanize technology tools and build effective and authentic online communities.

My blog and podcast have been recognized by EdTech Magazine, Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education. My book, Digital Leadership in Higher Education, was published in 2020 and was listed as a #1 new release for college and university student life. I have been growing my consultancy since 2013 and am based in Los Angeles. When I’m not helping clients lead online, you might find me training for a triathlon, spoiling my nieces and nephews, or exploring with my husband and our rescue dogs in our new RV called Lady Hawk.

I’d love to connect! Find me on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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Rebekah Tilley

Assistant Vice President, University of Iowa Center for Advancement

Rebekah Tilley is the assistant vice president of communication and marketing for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement (UICA). In that role she supports fundraising and alumni engagement efforts for the university, including its CASE Gold winning Iowa Magazine, and serves UICA in a variety of strategic communication efforts.

Previously she was the director of strategic communication for the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, and the director of communication for the University of Kentucky College of Law. She is a Kentucky native and a proud alum of the University of Kentucky.

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