February 23, 2011
As the four years to graduation slowly peel away, the thrill of completing a Rollins degree can sometimes feel, well, a little incomplete. Whether motivated by a love for collegiate life, a desire to further education in a specific career field, inhibitions about entering the “real world” or a mix of all three, more students than ever before are considering graduate studies. For Rollins undergraduates, the transition into a Rollins graduate program could not make more sense.
At least, this was the thinking that motivated Keri Williamson’s decision to enroll into the Master of Human Resources program in Rollins Evening Program. “I love Rollins and had such a wonderful time here as an undergraduate. Moving on to graduate studies simply seemed like a natural next step,” mused Williamson, who graduated in 2007 with a BA in organizational behavior. She then entered Holt’s Master of Human Resources program in 2010, taking one to two evening classes each term. For Williamson, it’s all about the connections she is making.
“The school itself has a prestigious environment and a reputation for fostering valuable connections between students,” said Williamson. “I’ve made more impactful and powerful connections here than in any other area of my life. I’m meeting people from other industries, learning from them, and then bringing that knowledge back to my job.”
Williamson is a national training director with United Stationers based in Chicago. She loves her job but she’s loving school just as much. Her studies have real-life applications to her current career, and the curriculum has immediate relevance. “My classes relate directly back to what I am doing professionally, and they give me a wider perspective of what the human resources field has to offer.”
Not all students enroll in graduate studies intent on a specific career. In fact, many choose this direction to help define their career aspirations. And then there are the students who know that to be competitive in today’s job market, they need something that gives a competitive edge. A Rollins resume gets read because employers recognize Rollins alumni as better prepared for the challenges of the workplace. Resumes with an advanced degree from Rollins demonstrate real world achievement and connections that truly matter in today’s job market.
“We advise prospective students to step back and look at the situation holistically. What is most important to you at this time?” said Assistant Dean of Admissions Jacqueline Brito. “If you have what you feel is a once-in-a-lifetime employment opportunity, you may still be able to pursue an MBA on a part-time basis. For others, pursuing a full-time MBA to develop and enhance skills that companies are seeking in their employees makes more sense.”
Just as in the undergraduate program, graduate students have an adviser focused on their success and small classes that make connecting with fellow students easy. From research opportunities and internships to full campus resources, the move from undergraduates to graduate student is a seamless one. “Many students find our graduate programs to be the right fit because they offer the same high-quality curriculum and personalized attention as Rollins College of Arts & Sciences,” said Brito.
“Finding your calling in a career means doing more than just discovering a means of earning an income. For me, it means feeling so invigorated by what I do, so moved, that it ignites me from the core,” Williamson shared. “It’s never hard to pick up the books. I am constantly energized by this learning.”