PSS is excited to present its new feature series on work-life balance in action! Stay tuned for a few features each month showcasing UMBC professional staff employees who are using HR-supported practices to ensure they have balance!
Meet Chelsea Moyer: Assistant Director for Recruitment and Retention, Shady Grove (Division of Professional Studies)
Type of Work Arrangement: Flextime
Length of Arrangement: Fall 2013-Present
Why is this arrangement beneficial to your work life balance?
I began working at UMBC-Shady Grove in November 2012 as a Program Coordinator. Shortly thereafter, in fall 2013, I began my graduate studies pursuing a Master of Social Work (MSW) in the behavioral health (clinical) track via the University of Maryland School of Social Work; a longstanding personal goal and dream. This 60-credit program requires both a foundation (16 hours a week) field placement followed by an advanced field placement (24 hours a week) as part of my degree requirements. In these placements, I am expected to practice and develop social work skills while being supervised by a licensed clinical social worker. As you can imagine, working full-time, completing classes, and balancing my field placement is challenging at times. Thankfully, with the support of my supervisor, Dr. Ashley Waters, UMBC colleagues as well as faculty and staff at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, I have been able to successfully manage my competing responsibilities. I am very lucky to have attained two social work field placements that take place primarily during evening hours.
I am so very thankful for the support I have been provided. Had I not had access to the level of scheduling flexibility granted through my supervisor at UMBC, it is likely that my MSW degree completion would be near impossible. I certainly would not have been able to balance full-time work with my graduate studies and, specifically, the required field placement hours. Additionally, as a result of the flexible scheduling options provided to me at work, I am able to maintain a level of self-care as well as mental and physical health during this somewhat stressful and often demanding time period balancing various work, school, and life responsibilities.
How is your supervisor supportive?
At UMBC, Ashley has allowed me the opportunity to flex my hours so that I begin work at 8am and leave at 4pm on days when I have my field placement in the evening. Alternatively, I stay at work a few hours later on evenings when I do not have my field placement to compensate for time spent in Friday morning MSW classes (9am-12pm) that I have taken over the past few semesters. Ashley has also fully and graciously supported my need to take four hours of vacation every Tuesday afternoon (1pm-4pm) since August 2016 to accommodate the requisite number of field placement hours I need to complete each week for my program. I am so very thankful for her willingness to provide options in regards to my work schedule. Her flexible approach makes all the difference in my ability to be successful both at work and in my graduate studies. She allows me the opportunity to flex my schedule, as appropriate, and has always been willing to approve vacation and/or personal time, as needed, to meet my multiple demands. These opportunities are granted, of course, with the expectation that the projects and work for which I am responsible will be completed in the same high-quality manner as if I were working a typical 9am-5pm schedule.