At first, Taylor seemed to have the doctoral program well in hand. Corewell provided financial assistance and generally supported her commitment to ongoing education. “My direct leader mentored me and supported me with time set aside to work on major projects and attend residencies,” Taylor says.
Plus, Taylor was making the same sort of connections that had made her master’s program so impactful. Among her connections she counts a nursing director in California and a financial manager with whom she regularly touches base.
“Connecting with other students in my industry and outside my industry has given me insight and a sense of community outside of my local resources,” she notes.
This felt especially valuable as the pandemic extended its tentacles into her work and life. As a frontline employee, Taylor had to go into the hospital every day to adjust policies and workflows according to the evolving knowledge about COVID-19.
“I spent many weekends doing a lot of my [doctoral] work, because I spent the majority of my Monday through Friday trying to learn COVID,” she says. “I just needed to dig in and do it.”
The pandemic wasn’t the only threat to Taylor’s educational commitment. After writing the first three chapters of her dissertation, her chair left. Taylor worried she’d be forced to take a break while she sourced another chair but, in the end, the University connected her with a potential replacement. He read through her work and made 256 edits. If Taylor would update her work according to those edits, he said, he’d take her on.
This happened over the weekend of Taylor’s wedding anniversary.
But her grit to finish the program, to learn, to grow as a person and professional — it drove Taylor to put in the hours and turn the document around in time.
“He saw the commitment that I had to my own work, [so] he was ready to commit to me,” Taylor says.
“It was very scary, but it ended up being the best thing,” she adds, reflecting on her journey from student to graduate.