A Day in the Life of Online Coordinator—Rebekah Grosboll
Second in a Series
Illinois born and bred, Rebekah Grosboll came to Springfield in 2000 when she began an undergraduate degree at UIS in Legal Studies. In 2005, after she had earned her first Master’s degree at UIS (in Communication), she worked for UIS’ Institute for Legal, Legislative and Policy Studies training probation officers, state’s attorneys, and police officers on DUI-related issues. During this time, she earned her second Master’s degree from UIS, in Political Science.
In 2010, Bekky became an online coordinator. “I was always interested in online education,” she says. “When I worked for the Institute, we had grants that did online trainings, and I taught adjunct online. Then I did a certificate program for online teaching. Working on my Master’s in Political Science, I also did a project on online learning.”
She has even taken online courses on survey research through the University of Illinois Chicago, so she is well prepared to help online students.
Bekky coordinates online graduate degree programs for Legal Studies and Political Science, and she’ll be adding the Political Science Bachelor’s degree program as soon as that is offered.
Away from her job, you might find Bekky throwing parties, including a bridal shower last summer with a Kentucky Derby theme (she says to check out Tea Time Magazine for good ideas). You might also find her catching blue gill on one of the family ponds. “I don’t really like to eat them,” she says. “I’m a catch-and-release person.”
Here’s what a day for Bekky might look like, but please remember her typical day changes through the year, and at this time of year, she’s particularly busy assisting students who are planning to graduate.
5:30 – 6:00 AM – I try to work out on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I like to walk. Our town has lots of hills, but in the winter I do the machine at home and videos and weights (big thumb down on these), so that doesn’t always get done. After some “me time,” I eat breakfast, and then have a quick check of email to make sure there haven’t been any crises like a student’s computer crashing before he can send in his work or something happening to a professor’s blackboard. I let the student know I’m on it—it’s so great for students to know someone is aware of their problems—and then I make a note in Outlook to take care of it later in the morning.
7:00 AM – I get my daughter up and ready. Ideally, we’re out the door at 7:45. That happens maybe once a week. Today at the last minute she wanted to wear jeans and not leggings—calamity! After dropping her off at day care, I check my Outlook one more time to find out what I have going on during the day.
8:30 AM – At work, I take care of email first. I have three work accounts: my personal work account for current students and faculty to use, and my Political Science and Legal Studies accounts where prospective students send questions or applications.
10:00 AM – I try to finish email by 10, when I go get my mail: My husband says I need to get out of my office more often and talk to people in real life. I say “hi” to our secretary or to faculty in the hall, and I sometimes go get a snack from the coffee shop downstairs. I like sharp cheddar with crackers and grapes, and they have good cheesecake. That’s my downfall, and ice cream when it gets warmer.
Back in my office, I start on my Outlook list. On a typical day, I might have 20 reminders: check my pending applications and follow through on those, add information to Facebook, send out reminders to online students about deadlines (like for graduation), follow up on inquiries from the previous month, work on the website…and the list goes on and on. Sometimes students call during the day with questions about applying for grad school and internship programs, and I keep up on those.
12:00 NOON – Lunch. I say “noon,” but actually, because my office doesn’t have any windows, I often lose track of time and then I think, “Oh, I’m hungry! I’ve got to get out of here!”
After lunch, I often have more on my Outlook list to do in the afternoon. Most of my students work, so they often email me at lunch or early in the afternoon, and I keep responding through the day.
2:00 PM – I have monthly tasks, weekly tasks, and daily tasks that I have to do all the time. I try to get all those done by at 2:00 so that I can use the rest of the afternoon for a bigger project like developing a curriculum guide for our new BA program in Political Science.
3:00 PM – Time for another snack! And then more work.
5:00 PM – I usually leave right on time. Day care charges when you’re late—and they get mad!