from the Association for Talent Development
Being a working student is a tough job, and students attending ATD 2015 had the opportunity Tuesday to meet, network, celebrate successes, and empathize with their peers during the Student Networking Lunch. The event featured Lori Roth, director of training and organizational development at George Mason University, who o offered encouragement and advice to the PhD, master’s, and bachelor’s students as they work toward their educational goals.
During her speech, Roth, who earned a PhD from Virginia Tech University in 2003, shared five key lessons she learned from her experience going to school while working and raising a son. “I was once there,” she told the audience.
The first lesson is that you can’t do it all. “Choose your priorities wisely,” she said. You can’t often just be a full-time student, so it’s about finding the right balance. Related to that, Roth added, is that life can sometimes gets in the way. “Be resilient. Just keep going,” she advised.
Second, find mentors. Reach out to people who you trust—“people who have done what you want to do.” Pick their brain and regularly ask for their advice and guidance, Roth recommended. The next lesson is to add to your tool bag. Whether that’s through networking, attending conferences, or going for an additional degree, Roth said you always have to keep learning.
She also emphasized the importance of giving back. After she earned her doctorate, and then her Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) credential, Roth started volunteering during CPLP events and has found other ways to give back to the profession.
Lastly, Roth stressed that students need to take time to celebrate—both the small and large milestones. “Celebrate every little thing with the people who have helped you achieve that goal,” she said. “When you start seeing the light, and they start seeing the light, you’re going to see fireworks.”