Student Corner: Rochelle Graham
by Rochelle Graham
My story is like many other displaced workers struggling with the current state of the economy. After seven years of working with a major automotive establishment, my position was eliminated along with all of the managers in my department.
I chose to pursue an MBA with a specialization in project management due to my previous BA in management and ten year professional history in the automotive industry. Specifically, my interest in project management blossomed during my years in the automotive industry, as process improvement has made a huge impact on major companies striving to work smarter not harder. Since the beginning of my career in business operations, I have been fascinated by identifying gaps and driving optimal solutions. The corporate environment kindled my desire to become a project manager and gave me the confidence to pursue a Master’s degree. Hence, an MBA with a specialization in project management was a logical next step to my previous undergraduate studies and professional history. I was confident that the program would afford me greater control of my career by building a strong foundation of additional skills necessary to compete for future opportunities.
Florida Institute of Technology online learning has proven to be one of the greatest challenges I have been faced with, yet it has also been very rewarding. The accredited programs, top tier national recognition, advanced methods of instruction, favorable student to faculty ratios, and study abroad opportunities have afforded me the necessary development to be successful in a very competitive environment. Offering my program of interest online allows me the flexibility to schedule and complete my workload anytime and anywhere, in addition to graduating with the same degree as on campus learning.
Although online learning was a new experience for me, time management, due diligence, and taking ownership has proven to be vital to managing the challenging curriculum – this is important for career success as well. The well-rounded course work has built up my business acumen as I previously implemented and managed quality control initiatives via cross-divisional partnerships to ensure quality standards were compliant. My utilization of six-sigma methodology, which enabled me to manage and deliver on key operations metrics, has also been enhanced by the course material. An added bonus was getting accepted into the Spain Summer Study Abroad Program, as the trip will provide a local and global business experience!
Merging my previous work experience with education obtained from the Florida Institute of Technology is exciting as business operational efficiency is not only my background but also my passion. Additionally, the university’s affiliation with established companies has provided the opportunity to network which will promote advanced career opportunities.
I thrive on achieving challenging goals, prospering through adversities, enjoying the good times, hanging out with family and friends, and feeling a sense of worth in the process. Throughout this program, I have thoroughly grasped critical concepts to prepare for career advancement, received the reward that hard work warrants, and developed an additional network of professionals, while maintaining personal relationships. Ultimately, I strive to live life to the fullest, yet simply, while achieving overall balance.