Thursday, June 1, 2017

Get to know our 2017 Student Commencement Speaker - Ramona Watson

It’s officially one of our favorite months at Peirce College. Why do we love June so much? Because it holds our favorite event of the year: Commencement! This year, we’ll be honoring some of our 2017 graduates on the blog throughout the entire summer. To start things off, 2017 Student Commencement Speaker Ramona Watson shares her journey to graduation.

Peirce College 2017 Student Commencement SpeakerRamona will be graduating on June 8th, 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. Ramona came back to school after realizing that the world was changing around her. She needed to “step it up a notch” if she was going to continue to succeed and move up in the workforce. Ramona says she chose her specific program “because it was in the direct line of work that I currently do for the City of Philadelphia. I felt that it could not only make me a better manager, but make me more marketable in the workplace, as well.”

So, what inspired her to return to school at Peirce College as an adult?

“I had seen a lot of advertisements for Peirce College [while] living in the area, but had often passed [them] by,” she recalls. “I decided I wanted to be a better role model for my children, so I eventually overcame my fears enough to make the decision to go back to school; I decided to give Peirce a try.”

Ramona’s desire to be a better role model certainly paid off. Her two daughters, Renee Martin and Brenda Eldridge, both attended Peirce College at the same time as their mother! Renee had the same business passion as her mother, majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. Brenda, on the other hand, had a different passion and majored in Criminal Justice. Ramona found this family connection rewarding and enjoyable through her college years.

“We were mother and daughter(s) as well as classmates. With our busy schedules, it allowed us to spend more time together and catch up regularly. We really relished in our Starbuck’s coffee breaks.”

The greatest part of attending school with her daughters was the support system they provided one another. “Whenever we saw each other or spoke on the phone, we always discussed school,” says Ramona. “We often collaborated on ideas for group projects and assignments as well as helped each other out when one of us did not understand any part of our schoolwork. Most importantly, whenever someone spoke of taking a break, the others [were] there to encourage her to continue.”

During Ramona’s Peirce experience, she had a lot of positive encounters, especially with the faculty. “What I valued the most were my professors and the amount of support, understanding, and enthusiasm they exhibited while extending their knowledge to me. I was amazed at how knowledgeable and secure they were in their craft. There were a few professors that I thought were a bit tough, but I’ve now come to realize that they challenged me on another level. I am so grateful to them for pushing me to excel and be greater than I thought I ever could be.”

Coming back to school as a working adult learner can be intimidating, but Ramona has some words of encouragement for anyone considering heading back to school: “I encourage my adult learners to step out on faith. Being an adult learner means that you have been around longer and have really already picked up on some of the skills that you will need to be a better student.

“At this stage of the game, adult learners are usually more focused on a specific career or are enhancing on the career that they already possess. Be prepared to excel and be great; a greatness that can only come from being a well-oiled machine in the form of a seasoned adult learner.”

You can hear more from Ramona Watson when she speaks at Peirce’s 152nd Commencement Ceremony. Don’t miss her crossing the stage with her two daughters as they all become official Peirce College Graduates on June 8th at 6:45pm in the Kimmel Center.