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MBA graduate Sharon Coleman inspires others with graduation speech

  • MBA Alvernia

sharon coleman mba studentAnyone who graduates summa cum laude has a reason to be proud. But, when you graduate summa cum laude with your MBA, while working full time, you instantly earn role-model status.

Speaking at Alvernia’s graduation this past Sunday, Sharon Coleman touched on topics that struck a chord with adult students everywhere.

Life Doesn’t Always Go As Planned
Sharon earned an associate’s degree from Lehigh Carbon Community College, but it took nearly two decades to find her way back into the classroom.

The fact that she enrolled at Alvernia to earn a bachelor’s degree the same time that her son Alex entered college explains the long gap between her associate’s and bachelor’s degrees.

As she so eloquently put it in her speech, “Life took over. Before I knew it, I had a family and a home to care for, and it became more about living day-to-day than worrying about career advancement or self-development. Cub Scouts, soccer games and all of the other little things that make up our everyday lives became my priorities.”

It Will be Hard, But Worth it
She started her speech with the saying, “if something is worth having, it doesn’t come easy.” Once Sharon decided to go back to college, there was no stopping her. Right after she earned her bachelor’s in business administration, she enrolled in Alvernia’s MBA program. Amazingly, she continued to work full time while she was a full time graduate student.

Saying that it was hard is a definite understatement.

At commencement, she said, “I knew it was going to mean long hours, hard work and dedication to achieve my goal. I guess what I failed to realize was just how demanding going to the next level of my education would be. Balancing the commitments between family life, added responsibilities at work, and school was more than a challenge. At times it felt like juggling fire while walking a tight rope. It was definitely one of the most challenging things I had ever done.”

Staying Motivated is Essential
Sharon devoted part of her speech to address her gratitude for instructors who understood that adult students have many facets of life to balance and that, “the faculty genuinely wanted us all to succeed and pushed us to achieve to our highest level of ability.”

She found the instructors’ understanding nature to be motivating and offered these words of encouragement to other students:

“If you are thinking about going back to school, do it. If you are thinking you can’t do it, you are wrong. You can. If you think you are too old, you’re not. If you think it will be hard, it will be but you will have all the help you need. They want you to make it. And remember, if it is worth having it won’t come easy, but I promise you, it will be worth it.”

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