katelyn murray posing in front of mountain view

I AGONIZED over going back to school for my Master of Business Administration degree. Seriously. I’m currently very comfortable in my role as Director of Marketing and Operations for an independent financial planning firm located just outside Washington, DC; however, in about ten years or so, I would like to own my own wealth management consulting firm and work directly with financial advisors all over the country to improve their practices. I felt an MBA would assist me immensely on the journey to becoming a wealth management consultant, but I just wasn’t sure. For years I chewed on the idea of going back to school, worrying about the cost, the time commitment… you name it, I was worrying about it. Eventually, I got fed up with worrying and decided my MBA was worth going after because it would elevate me as a professional in my field. I’m looking forward to the journey.

Why did you choose Averett’s Graduate & Professional Studies Program?

Averett University’s Graduate and Professional Studies program was the natural choice for me. I lived most of my life in the farmland surrounding the Danville, Virginia campus, and I spent a lot of time visiting friends that attended Averett while I was completing my undergraduate education. Although I obtained my Bachelor of Arts from James Madison University, I was always a bit envious of the relaxed and supportive community atmosphere at Averett—even though I was not an Averett student at the time, I was always made to feel at home and welcomed. It feels good to finally be a Cougar!

Please share one tip for your fellow classmates and future AU students:

Practical tip: Buy a weekly planner and devote it solely to your GPS program. At the beginning of each class, plan out your weeks for the entirety of the class, writing out each reading assignment, written assignment, and discussion board assignment on the first Monday of each week. Draw check boxes to represent the amount of responses required from your professor on each discussion board topic beside the topics in your planner, and check off the boxes each time you leave a comment on another student’s post. This helps you track your discussion board activity to ensure adequate participation.

Bonus impractical, but perhaps more useful, tip: Oscar Wilde gives the best advice—“Everything in moderation, including moderation.” Study hard, work hard, rest hard, and, yes, play hard too.

What helps to keep you motivated while you are in the program?

I keep a hard copy of my Graduate and Professional Studies cohort calendar (shout out to M7-55!) in my nightstand and check off each class as I complete it. Working my way down the list like a to-do list keeps me working toward the next milestone. Reviewing the list also provides me with a nice opportunity to reflect how much work I’ve put in, and it gets me excited about the upcoming courses on the list.

What is your anticipated Date of Graduation?

February 3, 2019. That date is painted in blue and gold above the desk in my home office. I am not kidding.

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