FEB 2017

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58 G.I. JOBS | FEBRUARY 2017 | GIJOBS.COM the school and pushed forward with it. I'd say the platform was a great help. It allowed me to see and connect with others who also had families, adult ob- ligations and struggled to find balance. The friendships helped to not only socially find balance that I could apply to my family, but also give me hope for the new profession and build relation- ships that made classes easier with fellow students and professors. The group now has close to 200 members, which include alumni, current students and professors. In what unique or unusual environments did you find yourself studying in? Roberts: Probably the well deck of a ship, a hotel in Saipan, multiple hotels in Korea and warehouses in Thailand were interesting. I suppose the oddest would be a tent on an old airstrip on Tinian in 2003. What was the biggest advantage to studying online? Roberts: Setting my own schedule. Would you recommend online degree programs to other acঞve duty service members? Roberts: I would. I would always advocate an in-class experience first in order to immerse yourself in the environment and atmosphere of what you're learning, especially if it's a different career for you. But if you must go online, do your research first. There are so many online degrees available to you, but you need to find which ones are accredited universities. Know which ones can accept military tuition assistance, and which ones cannot. Know the reputation of the school past their paid marketing. What advice do you have for acঞve duty service members who are earning or considering earning a degree online? Roberts: Find a degree in something you want and something that is going to be useful to society. If you can meet those two things then your college experience will be much more enjoyable. It will also help you to see the light at the end of the tunnel as not a finish, but a new beginning. It is not easy to do any college degree while active duty, but it is also pretty silly not to. How do you find the proper work-life balance? Roberts: I schedule everything. I mean everything. I record work, travel times, appointments, training, study and family time into my iCal and set reminders. My wife and I share our calendars and sync all obligations. My phone or computer even tells me when it's time to cook dinner and go to sleep. I have to have order to see everything through. I guess it's the logistical mindset. The plan is my guideline. Sometimes I stray from it, but it's there to keep me moving forward. You might laugh, but I will schedule time to do nothing. Not a lot, but every once in while you need a white space. What will you be doing if you land an internship at the VA in St. Louis? Roberts: If the VA accepts me I would attend 13 weeks of supervised program rotations under dietitians and preceptors. After I complete their program I would be eligible to sit for the registered dietitian exam, and then pursue a job in a hospital as a clinical dietitian. My intent is to work with athletes who may have medically related conditions that require nutrition therapy and clinical nutrition. "Find a degree in something you want and something that is going to be useful to society. If you can meet those two things then your college experience will be much more enjoyable."

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