I have officially finished my Masters Program at Full Sail University. I cannot believe it’s been only a year and I have learned so much about the Entertainment Business and myself.
The way I decided to go back to school was an absolute fluke, but I knew I was trying to get something that I felt I lost. At first I was considering going to a beauty school and getting my cosmetology license….
In High School I Had a Plan
During my junior year at Garfield High School, my school counselor informed me that I qualify for a program called Running Start. This program would allow me to attend junior college while in high school. This program was beneficial because I could receive a two-year degree and graduate from high school at the same time and with no cost to me.
Immediately, I thought I will get my two year degree in cosmetology and put myself through my 4 year Bachelors Program by doing hair in Atlanta, GA. I figured my life would be doing hair and going to school, a non-stress environment. My parents did not agree with my plan because they believed I would get stuck in the profession and not accomplish my other goals. At that time I was not one to rebel, so I gave up my plan and modified it.
I attended Seattle Central Community College and studied Pre-Medicine. I started taking classes like Zoology, Calculus, English, and more. My calculus class was the first time I received a D and I practically died. I couldn’t believe, I was such the over achiever and school came easily to me. My spirit was broken, but I was determined to keep going and become a Geneticist.
Still motivated by childhood dreams of attending a black college and moving to Atlanta I figured out how to get into Morris Brown and survive in Atlanta thanks to people like my Uncle Joe Joe, cousin Sadora, and my mom. My freshman year away from everyone was difficult, but it was the best year of my life because I developed character and strength. I figured out how to get by on very little and keep going. But still I was only 18 and the struggle was not worth it, so I went back home.
Over the next couple years I received my AA from Seattle Central and started working two full time jobs. I was still focused on Atlanta, so I quit both jobs and moved back to Atlanta…but I still wasn’t ready and moved back to Seattle.
I wasn’t ready for Atlanta, but I was ready to be independent and moved out of my parents’ home. Within 3 months, I had a new job and moved into my first apartment with my cousin Erika.
Then Life Got In The Way
Becoming a responsible adult is and was an educational process that I never prepared for. I was used to getting what I wanted pretty easy and working hard for it was difficult and time consuming, so school was out of the picture for the next few years. But….
Georgia Stayed On My Mind…. 2001 Back To Atlanta.
I quickly established myself and enrolled at Georgia State University. I was accepted into their business school studying Marketing. After years of thinking I wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer, I knew I was good at Marketing. I always had a way to convince people to do things and I understood why they were doing it. To me, that’s sales and marketing. The first class I enrolled into was Music Business, my one and only elective. All other courses for my program were Marketing, Finance, and Management related. After my first marketing class, I realized I needed to learn more about the industry.
After leaving my accounting career I took another break from school to “discover myself”. I learned how to become an entrepreneur and overcome my shyness. This was another defining point in my educational process because I had to learn to get over my hang-ups or I wouldn’t be successful.
I enrolled back into school and during my Marketing Research class I acquired my first Marketing job. This job gave me the opportunity to learn everything about marketing and I developed my direct marketing skills. I was able to incorporate my accounting background and database expertise. It was at this time, I understood how much time and effort in takes to excel at work.
After four years at this company and I still did not have my Bachelors. Yes, I was on the delayed long-term plan. I could not figure out how to do it all. The company was restructured and my job was eliminated and I should have been devastated, but instead I looked at is an opportunity and was looking forward to a fresh start.
Back To The Beginning
I knew about the unemployment crisis and was willing to go to school full-time to ensure that I was marketable and viewed as an asset for my next company. Within months I was back to work and still in school now in the accelerated plan. I took multiple classes each semester; I had to be finished within a year. There were many sleepless nights from studying and working and proving myself.
I Reached My Goal….
I received my Bachelors in Marketing and I am a permanent full-time employee at Fortune 500 Company developing my professional career. All of a sudden, I remembered my days of planning and setting goals and accomplishing them. I realized that not only should I plan, but I should put a time frame on my goals.
The first new goal was to do what I wanted to do. I remembered to the time of my life when I felt I wasn’t in control and I tried to fix that situation, which is why I was considering on going back to cosmetology school. But this time I realized that I would get stuck in that profession and it wouldn’t actually help me accomplish my goals. So I dreamed bigger….What’s Next, My Master’s Program.
This program has reminded me of what I care about and what I want to do with my life. I branded my company after my childhood fantasies, What If Media, because I want to be reminded to keep dreaming and believing that I can write my own destiny.
Anyone who knows me they will say, yes, that’s Shawnda, she just makes stuff up and figures it out… :) And it Works!