MBA Alumna Appointed Director of Operations for Center That CARES Alumni Profile
"The MBA classes at Point Park University gave me the chance to participate in a diverse range of real-world projects while learning the core principles of critical thinking, strategy and analytics. I was also able to gain essential business skills to support employee and student success like managing change and leading diverse groups."
How did you become director of operations for Center That CARES?
Throughout my time of studying, working, volunteering and teaching for different organizations and schools, I have learned the values of leadership, teamwork and service that uplift the work of private and public institutions, all with the goal of pursuing educational excellence and equity for our youth.
Throughout my professional career, I have served in support of students, teachers and families. In my previous role at Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time (APOST), I managed contracts and relationships with over 40 out-of-school time enrichment providers across the county who in turn impact over 40,000 youth across the Pittsburgh region.
Also, I have recently defended my doctoral dissertation in the Duquesne University School of Education and been awarded an Ed.D. degree in educational leadership and social justice. I believe that all of the above made me an exemplary candidate for this critical role.
Tell us about the work you do.
At the Center that CARES, I strongly focus on overseeing operational activities including managing the after school programs and summer camps. My goal is to offer quality enrichment and learning for children K-12th grade at both the Wesley Center and Jeron X Grayson Center.
I also coordinate some of our big initiatives such as Gen-Tech, a strategic approach to developing the technological capacity of Hill District families by providing training to youth, and Transitional Housing, comprehensive services for homeless youth, including young single parents and their children.
Additionally, I am responsible for recruiting, hiring and training administrative and operations personnel in coordination with the chief executive officer.
How have your MBA classes helped you in your career and earning a doctoral degree?
The MBA classes at Point Park University gave me the chance to participate in a diverse range of real-world projects while learning the core principles of critical thinking, strategy and analytics. I was also able to gain essential business skills to support employee and student success like managing change and leading diverse groups.
Additionally, my doctoral degree in educational leadership helped me solve problems in a variety of settings including colleges and universities, K–12 schools and systems, private firms and/or nonprofits and government organizations. From the MBA program at Point Park, I entered my doctoral degree program with the leadership skills needed to lead teams, make decisions and manage and establish effective research groups.
What are your favorite Point Park grad school memories?
As an incoming MBA student, I wanted to interact with students from different backgrounds. The MBA classes at Point Park had a diverse student body; I learned as much from my peers as my professors. I also have to say that I was inspired by watching keen individuals transform from students of limited experience to well-rounded future leaders who appreciated other perspectives.
What career advice do you have for our MBA students, especially during these challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic?
To be successful, we all have to be willing to relearn and unlearn on a regular basis. Now is the time to implement all of the ideals we never thought would see the light of day. This is the perfect time to test ourselves, try new things and embrace positive change that will lead to more innovative approaches. Therefore, having a growth mindset is even more important now to be more creative and resilient students.
It is also important to find a new networking strategy. I recommend current MBA students to seek out like-minded professionals online and ask about virtual events.
Lastly, now is the perfect time for MBA students to work on improving their qualifications. Analyze job descriptions by reviewing each required skill and experience to determine what you need to be a better candidate when the job market picks up again and/or you graduate.