Congratulations Graduates! You did it!
You’ve finished an amazing part of your journey in life
and you should be proud of yourself!
So what’s next?
Whether you’ve graduated from High School or College, now is the time to decide which path to take next. Perhaps you’ve already decided and are well on your way. If not, you have some things to think about and decisions to make. If you ever need someone to chat with about school, career or life, please email me! I’d love to hear what you’re thinking of or debating about. Sometimes it helps to talk things through and you might discover a path that you hadn’t considered before.
Just a few months after I gave birth to my daughter, I was getting restless as a stay-at-home mom. Some moms can do it, and I totally respect it! But I just couldn’t kick the itch to get out of the house and do something… but what? My daughter’s father (who later became my husband) suggested beauty school. “HA!” I thought. What an odd idea since the only makeup I even owned at the time was eyeliner, mascara and chapstick. I had typically worn my hair down natural or just threw it up in a messy bun. What would they think of me if I walked into beauty school to apply for admission? Whelp. Who cares what others think, right? I applied and started classes in September 2008, and graduated almost two years later from Beau Monde’s full-course Cosmetology program. I was already working evenings as a server, but the obvious thing to do after graduating Cosmetology school is to get my Hair License and begin working in a salon. So that’s what I did.
Not What I Was Expecting
Working two part-time jobs at minimum wage got old quickly. Working seven days a week, as a single mom, sacrificing time with my daughter so I could work to pay bills, was not only exhausting physically, but emotionally and spiritually. (Oh how I missed those rent-free days at my mom’s house) I suppose I may have been more motivated to quit my server job and push building my clientele at the salon if I had been more passionate about cutting and coloring hair everyday, but I became bored quickly and felt limited creatively. So although it took me almost 2 years of Cosmetology school, $20,000 of student loan debt, and about 4 months of salon working to discover this wasn’t the career path I wanted to take, I was optimistic that I would find the right career path for me. I started praying that God would help me to find a full-time day job with a set schedule and medical/dental benefits, and amazingly, I was offered a job as an administrative assistant at a manufacturing company.
What do I want to be when I grow up?
Knowing I didn’t want to work in admin forever, I looked into going back to school for my Bachelor’s in Business Administration. I figured it would be the best foundation in order to pursue a career in management down the road. I had finally answered the question I had been asked so many times throughout my life, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” My answer is simple: “I want to be the boss.”
Now, I don’t want to be “the boss” just to be “in control”. I want to hold a position of management because I believe I would be an awesome leader! I love motivating people, encouraging people and teaching people. I really enjoyed taking the Business Management courses of my Bachelor’s program and look forward to the day when I have a department to manage and a staff to motivate. So what else can I do to set myself apart and give myself a better chance to attain the position of my dreams? I searched through job postings on Craigslist and Indeed to research what was required of potential applicants of CFO and Controller positions. The most common requirement was a CPA license with MBA preferred. Hmm… That would take two years of Graduate School and about a year of studying and test-taking to get my CPA license. With the Portland, OR average at $150,000 annually and a potential annual salary nearing a quarter-million dollars, I decided the investment was worth it.
So What’s Next?
Graduate School! I’ve completed everything required for my application into WSU’s MBA program, except for taking the GMAT exam. So in less than two weeks I will be sitting in front of a computer, all kinds of nervous but hopefully fully prepared, to take my GMAT exam. If all goes well, Fall quarter begins August 22nd and that is my start date goal. So if you think about me around 8:00 AM on the morning of June 25th, I’ll accept prayers, good vibes and happy thoughts! ha ha… I’ll let you know how it goes either way.
All That To Say…
I share a piece of my history and my experiences in hopes to encourage you in your life pursuits. There are so many decisions to make in life and it can get extremely overwhelming, especially if you’re like me and you add the pressure of thinking you absolutely have to make the “right choice”. But how do you know if you’re making the right choice? Honestly, you don’t always know. And honestly, if you make the wrong choice, life will not end. You simply redirect and keep going. You’ve heard that corny phrase, “Life is what you make it?” Well, I totally agree with it. You’re in control of the decisions you make and the attitude you hold throughout all the right and wrong choices. Choose to stay optimistic, be encouraged and get your head in the clouds! Yes, get your Hopes Up and Dream Big! There are so many opportunities and potential paths to take, why not get excited about where your potential lies? What are your passions and interests? What skills and abilities do you possess? In what areas do you want to grow and learn more? I would encourage you to write out your goals, if you haven’t already. Where do you want to see yourself in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years and 20 years? Now, what is it going to take to get you there? I’d love to hear what you’ve come up with, if you’re willing to share! You can email me at email@example.com to share, or ask questions.
Michaela Byers, Founder/Executive Director
WPC Graduation, May 17th, 2016
Bachelor’s of Business Administration, Second Major: Accounting
Graduated Honors: Magna Cum Laude