Vinnie Mangiapane: “How I Make It Work”

From students fresh out of undergrad to professionals who are retraining for a new career, the Michigan School of Psychology welcomes students wherever they are in life. “How I Make It Work”  highlights the diversity of student experiences as they balance classes, work, and life.

Name: Vinnie Mangiapane

Program: Part-time MA

Describe the (joys and) challenges in your life that make graduate school difficult to manage.

I thoroughly enjoy learning and being immersed into the material. Being around my professors and cohort provides me the courage I need through the program. I love the relationships within the school and I strongly believe they have helped me succeed at MSP.

Working part-time has been the biggest challenge thus far. Working has, at times, distracted me from the program, creating a difficulty to remain an appropriate work to school balance.

How do you make it work?

I make “it” work by having to follow a strict schedule that allows me to meet all of my needs, I structure homework time, reading time, and I also have to schedule time for some self-care. 

What are some tips or secrets you have for staying organized with a busy schedule?

I am a planner! Organization is what has helped me most through my educational journey. I always make “to-do” lists! Making sure I set goals to accomplish each day. 

How do you make time for yourself?

I make sure that I allow time for myself to ensure that I am taken care of both physically, and mentally. I make sure I have off days so I can connect with friends and or family. It is imperative to schedule self-care.

How do you avoid feeling overwhelmed?

I believe that being overwhelmed is what gets people through graduate school. If grad school was not “overwhelming” I would imagine we would live in a society where everyone has a graduate degree.

However, I definitely am a worrier. I often get overwhelmed with readings, and papers but I have learned to trust the process and accept that I will finish what I need to do. Taking school day by day allows for smaller increments to be accomplished easing anxious thoughts.

What support have you received from MSP?

The staff at MSP are masters at offering support, selflessly! The school offers a TON of resources whether it is academic, financial, personal, or professional. I have heavily benefited from the networking I have made through my professors. 

What advice would you give a prospective student who is worried about making grad school work?

Take a deep breath and trust the process. MSP is designed to meet the needs of every student. I would talk to admissions, or a current student to help ease the anxious thoughts. 

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