Tuesday, January 8, 2019

From A Bucket List Goal To Discovering Her Career Passions – Meet Deidre Gray

Originally starting her master’s degree as a bucket list goal, Deidre Gray finished her Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management with not only self-satisfaction but a new appreciation for her current role as well as a self-discovery on her true career passions.

Deidre Gray had been out of college for over 25 years, but she never let the idea go of wanting to attain a higher degree. One day, she learned that a colleague and friend was finishing up his master’s degree and he told Deidre about the positive experience he had at an institution focused on working adults. Deidre’s friend recommended the institution knowing it was a place where Deidre could succeed. Deidre had her doubts at first, but after much persuasion Deidre looked into Peirce College and never looked back.

Starting in January 2017, Deidre enrolled in the Organizational Leadership and Management program because she held multiple leadership roles inside and outside of work and was ready to amplify these skills. At first, when she started at Peirce, Deidre was going back to school to fulfill a personal goal and to inspire her daughter who, at the time, was a junior in college. Deidre said, “I wanted my daughter to have someone to look up to who was accomplishing an even higher degree to inspire her to keep going.”

After taking her first class at Peirce, Deidre knew she was going to get even more out of this experience than she originally intended. “After my first class, I was reassured that Peirce was the place for me with the attention on adult learners and the variety of age and experience within the classroom,” explained Deidre. “I learned from not just the professors, but also the students. I even found one classmate who is now my friend for life, Marlena Gordan.”

Deidre spoke on how her and Marlena took every class together, encouraged one another and discovered a beautiful friendship she never would have found elsewhere. Peirce’s focus on working adults and the opportunity to form relationships with classmates and professors are what Deidre really valued the most during her time at the College.

Beyond the personal connections, Deidre gained the leadership skills she was looking for and immediately began putting them into action even after just her first class. While building and developing these leadership skills, Deidre realized some other things about herself she didn’t know before such as her true career passions.

Deidre entered Peirce College while holding the position of President of the Black Alumni Chapter and Founder of the mentoring program within the Chapter at West Chester University, where she worked directly with students on achieving their educational dreams. During the master’s program at Peirce, Deidre was able to express her interest in this position and learn how she could amplify this passion into a future career. “Thanks to Peirce’s master’s program, I now have a clear vision of my future and career goals. I have a passion for higher education and working directly with students, which was developed and nurtured during the program. I was able to write papers and have discussions on topics relevant to these goals and now that I have this degree, I can use it to pursue my dreams,” said Deidre.

Additionally, while discovering her true career passions, due to information learned and experiences shared, Deidre gained a stronger appreciation for her current full-time position as a Customer Service Representative with Penn Medicine. “When I first started in this position, I felt as though I wasn’t doing anything of importance,” said Deidre. “But thanks to my classes and the conversations, I learned how to find value in my work and focus on improving myself as an employee every day.”

Deidre said thanks to the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management program at Peirce College, she was able to gain a new appreciation for herself, her current position and her future aspirations. Deidre gave a special shout-out to her academic advisor, Dr. DeVida Rembert, who was her primary supporter through the entire journey. She said, “Dr. De supported me in a personal and professional way I had never been exposed to before. She offered me multiple forms of communication to get in contact with her, so no matter when it was she would be there for me. I will never forget Dr. De and her endless care and encouragement.”

As of December 2018, Deidre Gray finished her master’s degree crossing a goal off her bucket list, but also gaining so much more. As Deidre reflected back on her time at Peirce, a personal quote came immediately to mind. She said, “Maya Angelou’s quote, ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’ resonates with me in regard to my time at Peirce. I have always wanted to be sure I am the one spreading the positive feelings to others, but in the case of Peirce, I was the recipient of these feelings and that is something I will never forget.”

Congratulations to Deidre on her recent academic accomplishment! We wish her nothing but success on her continuous personal and professional journey.