"School is important. But not as important as life."
Occupation: Graduate student
School: Land Development, University of British Columbia
Technology level: TBD
- Very involved in various sports clubs
- Unorganized in both physical and virtual world--often just makes piles of documents
- Does minimal amount of work just before the deadline--efficiency is important
- Keep her grades at a respectable level to ensure that she graduates in time
- Play lots of sports, be physically active, and build friendships
- Be social and network with colleagues, faculty members, industry partners to secure a job after graduation
- Watch all the episodes of her favorite shows and keep up-to-date on the discussions
Frustrations & Pain Points
Shaina plays Ultimate Frisbee in a regional league. It's a big time commitment; she practices with her team 3 days a week in the afternoon. She lives with her sister, who is an undergrad student at the University of British Columbia, about 5 minute roller-blade ride away from campus.
School allows her a fairly flexible schedule which she likes. She usually gets up at 9 and roller-blades to her office, and works there in the morning and in between classes. She goes home at around 5:30, and takes a nap. She is constantly on Facebook and MSN. She doesn't upload much to her Facebook account, but likes checking her friends' pictures. When she gets tagged in pictures, Facebook sends her notification emails. She checks them and comments or replies right away. She watches a lot of TV, and follows a few shows, like Lost, religiously. When she misses an episode due to Ultimate practice, she'll watch it the next day online. She actively posts her opinions on the shows' fan site discussion boards. She is in her 4th year in as a PhD student in the Program in Planning, but isn't as far along as she'd like to be as she's changed her thesis topic a couple of times. Her supervisor, Professor Stashuck of Urban Planning, is a great person to work with, but doesn't push her hard enough to set goals and meet them. Shaina enjoys the independence and relaxed lifestyle of being a grad student, but really wants to finish school soon and get a job. Shaina doesn't have classes on Fridays, so she uses Fridays to get big chunks of work done at her office. She likes working in her office rather than home, because there are less distractions, like her sister, food, TV, and her bed.
She does most of her work on the PC workstation in her office -- partially because she often has to run GIS software, and her office computer is a lot faster than the laptop she has at home. She saves all her recent or current documents on her desktop, because it's just easier to find and open them quickly. She has a lot of files sitting on her desktop. Once in a while, when the desktop gets really crowded, she moves the older files to the course folders she created in My Documents. It's sort of the same with her physical documents, which she piles around her room until she can't find anything anymore, at which point she'll try to put them in file folders. Shaina keeps all of her school-related files on her workstation and tries to get everything done while she's in the office. Around assignment deadlines, she'll take lighter-weight files home and continue to work on her paper or reports. She doesn't use a particular calendar or planner to keep track of her school events. She uses her "youthful memory" to remember the important dates, and when needed, looks up her email and course websites to check what is due and when. For some of the courses, she relies on her classmates to remind her of the assignment due dates. This is working fairly well, although occasionally she forgets things.
She feels the LMSs are technologically behind these online social networking sites she is used to. Only one of her courses, History & Theory of Planning, uses uPortal, and she uses it to print out lecture slides. The assignments for this course, however, are printed and handed into the physical drop box.