Why did you decide to pursue a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree at NAU?
I am still trying to find a concise answer to this question as I am asked it every time college graduation comes up in casual conversation. The term business can be argued as the core of our existence. We live in a business-oriented world where many encounters and exchanges are of a professional manner. It is wise for an individual to have an understanding of how a firm operates and the part it plays in global markets. This is important as many individuals will be a part of a business for the majority of their lives. Understanding the components of business operations such as marketing, finance, management, manufacturing, human resources, and the law enhances a person’s ability to make successful business-related decisions.
There is a business for most types of demands; therefore, it is possible to use business skills in a variety of fields. My career path was undecided when I enrolled in college. I had (and still have) many interests in various fields. I did not truly understand my strengths and weaknesses yet. I wanted to pursue a degree that I would not have regrets about later on, like not being able to find a job. During the course of my education, I became enamored by the various components of business and took a liking to technology implementation, enhancing systematic processes, and strategic management.
Were there any professors that truly inspired you?
I enjoyed working with Dr. Cordova, as she was motivating and very creative. During the last semester, the workload increased for both college and my occupation. She broke down concepts very well. I also appreciated the Management Information Systems instructor as he used very relevant articles and videos to teach his course. He limited the amount of textbook work, which is an industry of its own, as much as possible.
Did you have a job or participate in an internship while you were pursuing your degree?
At one time I had two jobs during my college career. Youth sure does have its benefits. I did not participate in an internship, but instead received hands-on paid learning through my job. I was a department manager for 17 employees and my specialty was implementing systematic and programming solutions. Recently, I took a leap to another career path with a sustainable and scalable company. There is more opportunity for learning and growth.
How has networking and obtaining your degree helped you in your career? Were there any classes that were the most practically applicable?
I am a proponent of those who surround you will determine your quality of life. Networking has helped me become acquainted with others who can offer something specific to me, and in turn I can offer the same to another. Networking has also helped me secure my new position. As mentioned previously, business is everywhere. I often use the communication and business writing skills I learned in college. This was particularly helpful while preparing and hosting meetings. Employment Law, Compensation and Benefits, Global Finance, and Business Finance were courses that were the most practically applicable for me.
What kinds of hobbies did you have while working on your degree? How did you manage to juggle work, school, family, hobbies, etc.?
While leisure time was limited in school, I mainly focused on my exercise regimen. I was able to maintain my running and lifting routine. I participated in several races and a half-marathon. I try to reach 30 miles a week which became exhausting with the increase in workload. Now that I have graduated, I will resume my guitar playing and leisurely reading. I was able to juggle work, school, family, and hobbies by staying organized and keeping a tight schedule. There seems to be more hours in a day when they are used wisely and there’s always time for a little music and snacks with friends!
What advice do you have for students who are considering the NAU BBA program?
Though it may not be solid yet, have a plan. Figure out what you like to do, what interests you, and consider your strengths and weaknesses. College is a great way to improve upon your weaknesses. While studying, obtain a strong grasp on the material. That will help you get where you want to be. Signing up for courses can be tedious and nerve wracking. Chose courses that are relevant to your overall goal. Many of the professors are business owners, entrepreneurs, and just fascinating people – take advantage of their time.
What advice do you have for students as they are approaching graduation and after graduation?
Stay organized. Use this time to hone your skills and meet others. If you have debt, formulate a plan to pay-off your loans. If you do not have a solid career path, set a game plan for your next steps to get a job in business. If you are in an enjoyable and stable organization, figure out your next steps for professional growth. Stay diligent and develop your research skills and analytical abilities throughout life. Most importantly, take some time to breath and congratulate yourself on graduating!
Congratulations on graduating Rochelle and best wishes in your career!