After graduating from my alma mater, Paul Quinn College, attending a selective elite institution was always in the plan. Admission to graduate school was something I knew I would need, considering my life goals and career trajectory, mainly because of the narrowed focus and collaborative nature professional school provides for its students. This fine-tooth comb was what I desired so that I could craft my general skills in higher education towards a tailored experience in creating what it is I desire my professional career to look like. Much of this life I am referring to has come into formation while studying the theoretical and applied practices of post-secondary management through the Masters of Science in Education at the University Of Pennsylvania Graduate School OfEducation. Ultimately, I chose Penn GSE because it was exactly what I needed, at the exact time I needed it.

As I mentioned, even while in undergrad, I knew that I was destined for the masters, then doctoral degree route; a major task associated with this was finding the right program and school that would best fit my intentions. During my junior and senior years of college, I spent a great deal of time learning graduate program literature, reviewing admissions requirements, and studying for the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) test, preparing for the not-so-subtle journey towards graduate school. It was my plan to attend a grad program in the Fall of 2013, the semester after graduated from PQC. I was accepted to study urban and regional planning at the University of Colorado, but was found myself in a pickle when I found myself in a financial aid debacle. This put my aspirations to pursue a master’s degree on hold and led me to a mild shift in my professional focus.

Throughout my time at Paul Quinn College, there was never a campus event, social or academic, that I did not have my hand on in some way. College was truly a playground for me and I used it to dive into everything from intercollegiate athletics to student government association. Campus ministry, service learning projects, internships, and even Greek life all played a major role in developing my understanding of the vast opportunities students have on college campus to truly find them and create their passion.