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Graduation Day

18 May

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2002 I graduated from Simmons College, Boston, MA, with a degree in Public Relations and Marketing Communications. I never dreamed of continuing my education because in this field I figured all I would need is professional development. Well, I left Boston for a job in my hometown of Springfield, MA and soon realized I was bored. I had no friends except friends from work and those relationships were just starting. So when a graduate school college fair was in our cafeteria one day I decided to look into a program.

Things happened quickly and in less than 9 months since graduating from undergrad I was in school working towards a Master’s of Communications. I started and finished in 12 months. I was happy but realized this degree didn’t do much for me and I figured some day an MBA might be in order.

As you may have read I was laid off in 2008 and after sis months of looking for a job and then a looming recession I decided it was time to go into debt and works towards my MBA. Because I had one master’s I didn’t have to take the electives; however, Financial Aid said I wasn’t a full-time student without extra courses. So I took a few from the nonprofit program and was then convinced to take two more to get a certificate in NonProfit Management. And when in my first class was convinced to look into three more classes and making it a double master’s.

That is what I ended up doing. I spent a total of two years working for my MBA and a M.S. and today I have them. I didn’t plan anything but realized if I wanted to be marketable during the recession school was my only option besides being a full-time volunteer. And everything paid off, I have a wonderful job now and this past Sunday, May 15th, I walked with 689 other graduates. I wore both of my master’s hoods and while I only walked across stage once, they made a big deal about me and announced both degrees.

I felt extremely proud. I took a negative situation and turned it into a positive one, even though I wasn’t sure at sometimes just what I was doing. I was even more proud on this day because I have also become an Adjunct Professor at the same school I just graduated from, Bay Path College, and I got to see the seniors I taught walk across the stage and graduate. I made sure to hug each one of my on-campus students as they walked off stage; it was important for me to do. I wanted to hugmyonline students too but being online I didn’t really know what they looked like and didn’t want to mistake anyone. They all accomplished something huge; many of them had their own personal struggles and to know I was a part of their college career made me feel so proud.

I walked out of the building that day walking taller than ever before. Not only was I proud of my accomplishments over the past two years, I was proud of all my students and their accomplishments. Many of my friends who know me know I kid about it “being all about me” and yes, Sunday was about me but it was about more than me… it was about 690 graduates, some whose lives I touched, who are entering the world and ready to make history and to know I am part of that group but was also instrumental in some of these lives, I will forever be a proud graduate and never forget this day.

Thank you to all my friends and family who took this journey of self-discovery and self-realization with me. I am honored to have you in my life. ~xoxo

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