‘Despite the challenges, I was determined to finish’

‘Despite the challenges, I was determined to finish’

‘Despite the challenges, I was determined to finish’ banner

Walt Disney is famous for saying, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

This statement couldn’t be more true for Corrie Shaw ’18 MBA – Hospitality. A longtime employee at Walt Disney World, she decided to pursue her master’s degree in 2015. Here, she shares her journey—dreams don’t just happen after all and fairy godmothers with magic wands exist only on screen. Corrie stayed the course when life threw her curveballs and put in the work to make her dreams come true.

Looking back, why did you choose JWU Online for your degree?

What drove me to JWU Online was not only the convenience of not having to physically go to class, but also the university’s outstanding reputation. I did a lot of research on the background and culture of each of the colleges I considered and nothing quite matched my own values and needs until I found JWU. I’m so thankful to have found a school with the exact program I was looking for that truly cares about their students and their success.

Many of our online students are balancing a full-time job, a family, and more. Was that true for you? How did you do it all?
That was definitely true for me! I have a full-time job with a major hospitality and tourism conglomerate and I was working anywhere between 40 and 50 hours every week. I also found out I was pregnant a month after I first enrolled at JWU! Juggling classes, work, and a brand new baby as a single mom was one of the toughest things I have ever done. Despite the challenges, however, I was determined to finish. It might have taken me longer than the average person to complete my program, but I did it!

During your time with JWU Online, was there anyone in particular (faculty, advisor, staff) who helped you/encouraged you to reach your goals?
My advisor, Michael O’Malley, was so incredibly helpful. He answered every question I had (no matter how silly I sounded to myself!) and guided me through every part of my program—from enrollment to finals all the way through applying to graduate. He truly cares about his students and I’m so thankful for his encouragement.

When you think of all the hard work you put in, sacrifices big and small, how does it feel to reach this commencement milestone?
I can’t believe commencement is finally here! It always seemed so far away but now that it is actually happening, it feels like I just started my first class yesterday. After all the challenges life threw, I have to say, I’m so proud that I made it.

What are your plans/goals now that you have earned your master’s degree?
Honestly, I’m not sure! I love the hospitality industry and would love to help others find their own dreams and figure out how to reach them. The managers and professors I’ve had the pleasure of learning from over the last few years have helped me develop and now I would love to help do the same for others.

To learn more about the Johnson & Wales University College of Online Education online MBA – Hospitality degree, complete the “Request Info” form on this page or call 855-JWU-1881 or email [email protected].

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