Jonathan Korpi: A Day in the Life of a Grad Student

Photos and Story by Grace Dowling

Jonathan Korpi is a graduate student from Ishpeming, Michigan, who will be receiving a master’s degree in May 2019. Korpi is getting his degree in history with a concentration in religion in medieval Europe. He wants to continue going to school for a Ph.D in higher education administration.

Korpi has already been in school for seven years and spends over 20 hours a week working on his degree.

“We have to read four books a week,” Korpi said. “Being a grad student is a part-time job. Sometimes almost a full-time job depending on if you’re funded or not.”

Korpi working on his research.
Korpi preaching to a church in Rosebush, MI.

Korpi is constantly busy from doing research to presenting his research as well as preaching on Sundays, on top of attending his graduate classes throughout the week. He also tries to socialize with friends when possible.

” For most grad students, academics is their life,” Korpi said.

Jonathan Korpi’s research.

Even though he is very busy, he only goes to campus about twice a week for classes. The classes for a grad students are high-level classes that are very intensive.

“A full-time graduate student in our department (history) is nine credits,” Korpi said. “The purpose of what I do is that I do research and I go to conferences and present it.”

As a history graduate student, Korpi is to come up with an idea and create a discussion about it.

“You have to fully believe in what you’re writing,” Korpi said.

Korpi talks to parishioners and girlfriend, Courtney Johnson.

When Korpi isn’t working on his degree, he is relaxing at home with his girlfriend and two dogs. On occasion, he will go out with some other grad students from his department to one of the bars.

Korpi’s dog

“A lot of people think that because you’re a grad student you hang out with other grad students, but we tend to just stick with our departments,” Korpi said. “I do spend a lot of time reading for enjoyment and to escape the real world I play video games or play with my dog,” Korpi said.

Korpi and his girlfriend, Courtney Johnson with their two dogs.
Jonathan Korpi talking to a parishioner at Rosebush Presbyterian.