Good Grades Addendum – Before and After
During the summer of 1999, I received notification my Arizona Regents Scholarship was not being renewed for my senior year of college even though I exceeded the academic requirements to maintain it. There was a shift in how the Regents were focusing their funding and, like many other seniors, I had lost my full tuition scholarship that I relied upon to continue my education. The loss of the scholarship was devastating for me as I had made school my top priority, forgoing a promotion to run my department, to ensure my grades exceeded the scholarship requirement standards.
When I informed my employer, Sprint PCS, that I would be interested in leaving school to pursue a recently vacated management position, they quickly promoted me into the role, leading a team of 75 sales representatives, which included tuition reimbursement, as a benefit. Obtaining my degree within one year was also a condition of my promotion and continued employment. I gladly accepted the promotion with the understanding that my new management role needed to be my primary focus. I decided to continue as a full time student to ensure my employment conditions were met. I adapted to evening and online classes but my studies no longer took precedent and my grades are a reflection of that decision. In my naive 20-year-old mind, my loyalty was to my employer who had provided me the opportunity to pursue my management career and complete my degree. As far as I was concerned, I just need to ensure my grades were adequate to receive my diploma.
In my final semester, the last class I needed to graduate was only offered on campus and I became very ill near the start of the semester. While many of my classes were online. I did have an in person class once a week, with a very strict participation/attendance policy that ultimately affected my final grade, which resulted in a D. I graduated in May 2000, never considering the impact that my final two semesters would have on my future educational endeavors.
In 2004, I returned to school to pursue a Masters of Education from Northern Arizona University. I completed the rigorous course work of 36 credits, in nine months with a 4.0 GPA. I completed this degree while working fulltime at Target as one of their managers.
In 2013, I also graduated from George Mason University with a Graduate level certificate also, with a 4.0.
Both of these degrees are a true reflection of my academic potential. I am a completed different student than I was 15 years ago.
During the summer of 1999, I received notification that my Arizona Regents Scholarship would not be renewed for my senior year of college. I had exceeded the academic requirements of my scholarship, but the Board of Regents had reallocated its funds. The loss of the scholarship was devastating.
When I told my employer what happened, Sprint PCS promoted me to Sprint Wireless activation team manager. The company also offered to reimburse my school tuition so long as I graduated within one year. I naively believed that I owed a large debt to my employer, and that I should prioritize work over school. I took evening and online classes while working over sixty hours a week as the program manager.
In the middle of my final semester, I became very ill with pneumonia, and the last class I needed to graduate was only offered on campus. I was not excused for illness, even though I provided a doctor’s note, and my absences resulted in a D.
In 2004, I returned to school to pursue a masters of education from Northern Arizona University. While working full-time as a manager at Target, I completed the rigorous course work of thirty-six credits in nine months with a 4.0 GPA. In 2013, I graduated from George Mason University with a graduate-level certificate in integration of technology into schools, also with a 4.0.
Since college, I have learned to prioritize my education. I believe that my graduate transcripts are a truer reflection of my academic potential than my college transcript.
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