By: Melissa Fraser, Staff Writer
Elizabeth Glaser is a successful entrepreneur, single mother and returning student to USM. As a woman over the age of thirty, she represents a modest percentage of the current undergraduate student demographic.
As most adults returning to school after reaching a crossroads in their life or career, she is looking to pursue what inspires and drives her. With a strong mix of formal education and professional experience, she has learned what it takes to balance life and succeed as an adult student.
In her twenties and thirties a desire of autonomy and independence kept her on the move from upstate New York all the way to Newport Beach, California and Las Vegas, Nevada. With each new location came a new university to attend; a year at George Washington University, a semester at University of Birmingham and now USM.
Glaser has spent her adult life navigating the challenges of part-time enrollment as a student and a rapidly growing career. Professionally she has explored various roles in the fitness industry, business management, marketing and advertising.
It was during her time in Las Vegas that her daughter was born. Glaser made it a personal goal of her own to move back east to New England, where her family is from, by the time that her daughter would be attending school.
Determined, she made it happen and almost immediately she landed a job as an account executive in advertising for WGME 13 and FOX 23.
Her most recent professional accomplishment has been building her own business as a co-owner of a local branding and advertising agency, Dirigo Collective. Servicing clients such as Sebago Brewing Co, MaineHealth and Maine Energy Facts, they provide multimedia marketing through data and analytics, social management and media planning.
The transition from work life to school life has not been easy, Glaser admits. Quickly she learned that time management would be the key to her success, blocking off two hour chunks of time after class to complete assignments and study. Although it took a few weeks for her to regain her footing as a student, it has been a welcomed change in her life.
Glaser also finds balance through her focus on physical and mental health. A morning workout is part of her daily ritual, giving her fuel and feeding her soul, she explains. She also wants to provide a positive message to her daughter that it’s important to care for and respect your body and mind.
She has now taken a few steps back from the demanding lifestyle that comes with running your own business to pursue furthering her education. With ample credits accrued from various universities, Glaser has a wide variety of options for her future as a student at USM. Although she has a strong foundation in business management and marketing, she is ready to shift her focus of study to psychology; a life long dream.
Glaser now aspires to be a high school guidance counselor or principal. Her goal is to bridge the gap between faculty and students, creating a safe and trusting environment for today’s youth during those challenging years.
“I didn’t feel that I had a safe spot, a person, a complete trustworthy line of connection to someone [faculty],” said Glaser. “I hope that I could provide that.”
What a great idea to feature a non-traditional student. Inspirational!