Meet The Partners | Olivia Lowery
Tell me a little bit about yourself, what is your major, what year are you, where are you from?
My name is Olivia, I’m a junior here and I'm a nursing major. I’m from the Willard/Plymouth Ohio area. I work as a nurses aid at a hospital that has the corporate partners program.
Why did you choose Ashland University and what do you think makes it unique?
I was actually a transfer student coming in to Ashland. I was originally going to go through just a two year RN program at some other college. Before that even started I had a change of heart and decided that I wanted to come to Ashland. I chose it for the nursing program just because it is so good, but I also chose it because it's close to home and so I could still go home if I wanted to but I also knew that the people here were really cool.
Can you describe for me a typical day in your life as a student?
Depending on the day I have five hour labs two days a week and one is 7am in Mansfield and the other is 1PM. On my really early days I wake up at like 4:30 or 5:30, it depends on if I want to eat breakfast or not. I usually have my bag and stuff already packed so I just have to throw my scrubs on and then I carpool with some other nursing students to the campus in Mansfield.Then I have a lab for five hours. After that I'll usually come home and if I am really tired I might take a nap or I'll either go to work at the rec because I teach Group X classes there. So on Mondays with my early lab I teach two classes, so I teach a cycling class for an hour and right after that I teach a bar class for an hour. After that I’ll usually make dinner and just study for the night and go to bed and wake up for lectures the next day. So that's my typical day.
Do you find it difficult to stay active on campus and manage your schedule?
I am in scrub society, I do AU Gives, I do a bible study on Wednesday nights so im still pretty involved. I joined Snow Sports Club recently, but it has not started yet because it's not snowy. I can manage like, ok I have this, this, and this then I also have my homework but i still want to be able to enjoy my life so I have figured out how to balance it all. Sometimes it is stressful on my really busy weeks but it's something manageable for sure.
Is there a program or club that you’re involved in that you really enjoy?
Community service is great and I think everyone should be doing that to a certain extent just because it feels so good to serve the community that we are living in. Also, Group X isn’t really a club, but it is just a free place to workout on campus and some of our classes are really cool. Our numbers are down because no one wants to workout with a mask on and I completely understand that because it can be rough but I think that people would really enjoy them if they tried them out.
Is there a staff member or maybe a professor that has impacted you or your education in any way?
I would say that I had a lab instructor last semester, her name was Anna Plank and she is one of the best people ever, she taught us our skills but she is also like you guys need to realise that even though nursing school is very important, you also can’t like stress yourselves out about it so much that you’re crying on a daily basis, which obviously nursing majors are kind of known for that but she’s really cool.
Do you have an idea of what you’d like to do after graduation? Why?
The great thing about nursing is you think you might want to do one thing and then decide something else. I think right now I do want to do pedes so that would basically involve me moving to a big city somewhere just because pediatric hospitals aren't really around here. I work at Fisher Titus and I have the possibility of working on a med-surg floor there once I graduate and pass my NCLEX. I keep getting emails from the Ashland MBA program about getting my MBA because I am almost to senior status credit wise and so i'm also thinking about maybe doing that for a little bit when I get out. I do know one day I want to go back for my nurse practitioner but that is way down the line.
What's a question you would ask a hiring manager in your field?
I would definitely ask about things like staffing and how they are working on alleviating the staffing issues. Overall, I don't want to use the word vibe, but the vibe of the staff and the floor. It's very important because if you go in and everybody hates their lives it just is not a fun day.
What are some of the challenges you see within your industry
Definitely staffing issues. There is a joke in the nursing community where its like, nurses want more staffing, oh, well here’s a pizza party instead. That’s fun and everything but it’s not really fixing the issues and it really does take a toll on people’s mental health. Nurses and mental health is not the best so i think they need to work on that too.
I definitely think they need to normalize going to therapy and talking about some of the stuff we see. I actually just got one and he told me honestly nurses, you guys see a lot of stuff that a lot of other people don't have to see in their lives and if you don't talk about it with someone it does take a toll on you. Hospitals showing that they care for their employees, I think that would help a lot too. I would say definitely making therapy normalized and having it available for staff would be a really good idea.
What do you think are the most important skills that will help you land a job and hit the ground running after graduation?
Definitely my communication skills. I had to take a speech class, I learned a lot from that, learning how I am communicating, not only verbally but nonverbally. I took a world religions class. Obviously you know there are other religions out there other than christianity but around here there's not really anything besides the amish community and like the christian community. I know working in a big city I'm going to be coming across a bunch of different cultures and so learning about their religion and why their beliefs are what they and how to best respect their wishes is important. Just being culturally aware.Ii would say that class has taught me a lot.
Do you have a favorite memory you’ve made?
I would say that I have met my best friends here. They are all nursing majors and we did a study group last fall for our anatomy class and then we started doing that study group in the spring. We got sent home so we literally would sit on zoom for like five hours studying together and we still do it. I probably would just say studying with my best friends and meeting my best friends on campus has probably been the best thing.
Olivia is one of over two hundred students that take advantage of tuition discounts through the Corporate Partners Program at Ashland University. The Corporate Partners program is an employee benefit opportunity for external companies. It was created to provide access to training and educational opportunities that help shape both personal and professional development. To learn more information about this program or to see if you qualify, you can call 419.207.6759 or email firstname.lastname@example.org