The Brandeis GPS blog

Insights on online learning, tips for finding balance, and news and updates from Brandeis GPS

Month: November 2014

Managing & Leading: What are the Differences?

by: Phil Holberton

I often get confused between Managing and Leading – after all aren’t they one and the same?

I soon discovered that managing is squeezing efficiency out of the system. It is largely about productivity – how can I get more units of output per labor hour. How do you think individuals behave when they are managing (controlling) others? What about those individuals being managed (controlled)?

Over the years – I am just as guilty as the next person – telling others what to do, how they can do it faster, quicker and more efficiently becomes the norm when managing.

Place yourself in others’ shoes – how would you feel if you are constantly being told what to Listening to partnerdo and how to do it? If you are anything like me, not happy! I feel like my mom is micromanaging me – and she did her fair share of micromanaging me!

On the other hand, leadership is about organizations becoming more effective. More effective can have different meanings for different individuals. Making better decisions is at the top of the heap. Fostering a culture of inclusivity and collaboration can be next in importance. Leaders have many tools at their disposal to help create an ideal environment to foster overall organizational effectiveness.

Enter the notion of transactional leadership vs. transformational leadership – what do you suppose the difference is?

I used to work for a very well-known company and part of our compensation plan was to have large year end bonuses. That, of course, is a form of transactional leadership – a reward and punishment system. Employers incentivize others by holding a financial carrot over their head – using this technique to inspire employees to achieve and even exceed their goals.

On the other hand, transformational leadership was first defined as “leaders and followers make each other advance to a higher level of moral motivation.” by Presidential projectestimatesbiographer, James MacGregor Burns. Noted deceased academic leadership expert, Bernard Bass, extended the work of Burns by linking the impact on followers through garnering trust, respect and admiration of them.

Today we talk about creating a culture that anchors in trust, respect and helping others learn and grow.

Are you devoting enough time to foster a culture of inclusion and employee development and growth?

Let me know what you think and your obstacles to creating this environment.

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5 Tips for Surviving Week 10

By: Cara Chatellier

The ninth week of a ten week course can be a very telling time. There is a strong urge to coast through. You have to fight every fiber in your body to skip your discussion posts and put your feet up.

Being in my third course, I have learned a few tips to power through final posts, papers, and tests to complete courses and pass with flying colors.

Here are my top 5 tips on how to excel during the final days of your course with Brandeis Graudate Professional Studies!

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Tip 1: Map out your time

During the final weeks of your course, it can be easy to put off work until the last minute. Make sure you are mapping out chunks of time where you can sit down and focus.
Find a quiet place away from children, spouses, friends and other distractions. Many times I will stay late in my office to finish my course work. Nothing keeps you motivated like being a lonely office building– you can’t wait to finish and get home!

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Tip 2: Don’t ignore discussion posts

Discussion posts account for at least 30% of your grade in every course. Even if your research paper and final project and looming, you never want to ignore your discussions. These posts allow you to apply your knowledge from that week, ignoring them is only a disservice to you!

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Tip 3: Find a Study Buddy

Finding someone you can do school work with makes buckling down and getting things done a bit easier. Whether you are hunkered down at your local coffee shop or sitting at your kitchen table, having a pal to commiserate with makes the task a bit easier.

Having trouble finding an in-person study buddy? Try OnlineCollege.org, a website that shows you how to create a virtual study group!

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Tip 4: Reward yourself

Once you have finished your paper, or your discussions for the week, give yourself a little treat. Nothing motivates me more than knowing chocolate and peanut butter are waiting
for me after I hit submit on my second reply of the week.

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Tip 5: Make sure you’re sleeping enough

The UCLA newsroom explains, if a “student sacrifices sleep time in order to study more than usual, he or she is likely to have more academic problems, not less, on the following day.”

It’s important to study, but cramming is not the answer! Space out your time and get your ZZZZZZ’s.

I hope you found these tips helpful! Best of luck in your final days and make sure you celebrate once all your assignments are submitted, you earned it!

RSVP to 11/18’s Webinar: Next Generation Teaching and Learning: Navigating Opportunities in the Cloud

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From Online to the Field: How to Transfer Your Skills

by: – Custom Content Coordinator

There’s no question graduate education is an asset in today’s competitive professional world. Once nice-to-have, a master’s degree is now a necessity for coveted industry positions in the fastest-growing fields. The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics projects by 2020, the number of jobs requiring a master’s degree for entry is expected to grow by 22 percent.

Demand for a graduate education is growing. But is putting your career on hold to attend graduate school really the answer?

Instead of leaving the workforce, more and more are embracing online education. Technology has evolved to make online education a rich, interactive experience that holds its own against the conventional classroom model. Busy professionals can tailor courses to fit their schedule, making it possible to learn and earn at the same time. With a wealth of options like Khan AcademyedX,  and traditional institutions’ online programs, a master’s level education is now only a click away.

So where can an online education take you? While there are programs on the web for every area of study, two in particular will serve you well in today’s competitive job market: software engineering and strategic analytics. Both computer software and big data are integral to business’ operations placing those two skill sets in high demand in every field. See how online master’s degrees in software engineering or strategic analytics will help you break into Boston’s top industries.

Financial Services. Boston’s burgeoning financial community is in need of employees from all skill sets, especially in the realm of software development and data analysis. Today’s global financial institutions, many of which are headquartered right here in the Hub, rely on complex software programs to function. Software engineers who strategically develop, operate, and maintain this crucial technology are in high demand.

Also in demand are those who can collect, manage, and analyze massive amounts of data.  With the growth of e-commerce and online transactions alone, interpreting and understanding the strategic potential of big data is essential to the health of financial institutions.

Technology. From budding startups to established corporations, Boston’s tech world is a diverse, eclectic, and exciting field to work. Best of all, it’s growing. Fast. It goes without saying that a master’s in software engineering would be an asset for anyone seeking to break into the tech industry, but it’s not strictly computer nerds who need apply. Analytical minds are needed to process big data and apply insights to an organization’s bottom line.

Higher Education. With more than fifty college and universities in Boston, there are plenty of opportunities in the field of higher education, especially for those with a master’s degree in software or strategic analytics. Software programs are vital for a university to function, from student networks to administrative tasks to alumni communications.

Also, for universities, data is at the center of their operations. Statistical insights are key to understanding the application process, students’ academic performance, the movement of funds, and more.

Government Services. The State House and City Hall need more than politicians to keep Massachusetts and Boston running smoothly. As expected, sophisticated software powers all government operations, but strategic analytics skills are just as, if not more, valued at a government institutions. Our governing bodies are incessantly collecting and analyzing data on constituents. With a master’s in strategic analytics, you’re able to apply your skills analyzing and leveraging data to guide government projects.

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