Meredith Wright digs in for a new challenge and finds a surprise
At first, Meredith Wright needed a little time to get acclimated to the online classes she needed to earn a master’s degree in Management Information Systems at UIS.
Born and raised in Chicago, she already had a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Economics from the University of Illinois Chicago, and had been working at the University of Illinois Chicago as friendly Collector.
Ready for a second master’s, she found the completely online master’s of Management Information Systems program at UIS. In case you aren’t familiar with Management Information Systems, the program prepares people to use information and technology to improve company operations.
Meredith thought it would be a good fit. “I wanted the challenge of learning a new field,” she says, “and to enter the technology field.”
She completed three pre-requisite courses before officially entering the program, and then her first MIS course began. It was difficult getting back into the groove of graduate school, and the classes were quite unlike her previous work in Economics.
This is when the surprise occurred.
“Once I started taking more and more MIS classes, I started to love the courses and the curriculum!” she says now. “All the professors are great, easy to communicate with, and I actually made a few friendships offline.” She found Dr. Stout, Dr. Hadidi, and Dr. Larson particularly memorable.
An achievement worth celebrating
Looking back now, Meredith is most proud of a course project she completed for MIS 573, Project Management.
“We had to go through the entire process of implementing a new system, and in the process, I learned various project management techniques,” she says.
Because it was a group project, she also learned how to work successfully as part of a team: “Working in groups taught me how to be patient and how to respond to different types of personalities diplomatically and keep a positive outlook.”
Even more, because the group work was online, she learned how to be more assertive—an important trait in business.
Her advice to anyone based on what she learned? “Before getting upset with someone, take a step back, breathe, and try to see everything from the other person’s perspective. Ask questions and seek understanding in order to have clarity. This helps you gain a proper perspective.”
Close online friendships and relationships
Meredith is glad now that she enrolled at UIS for an online degree because it has allowed her to work at her own pace while developing professional relations and friendships.
She would like to acknowledge David, Matthew, Barb and Charisse: “They were great to work with.”
At times, her online colleagues provided invaluable suggestions.
For example, Meredith’s first class was MIS 513—and it was also the last class she took. It was Dave who suggested, toward the end of her program, that she retake the class, both so that she could really master the content (which she wasn’t ready to do earlier) and so that she could apply for MIS certificates in addition to the degree.
“He also suggested that I attend graduation, which I’m very glad of,” Meredith says. “Attending the commencement ceremony was so amazing and exhilarating. It meant so much to me! It provided me with confidence and the will to succeed in the future and do well to make my parents, husband and family proud.”
Meredith also enjoyed connecting names from Blackboard with faces: “I am so thankful and grateful to be able to be a part of the UIS family!”
Now that she has her second master’s degree…
Meredith also acknowledges her husband, Rico, who has been a great support throughout her program.
Her plans for the future include opening her own wellness center, so her next educational goal is to focus on learning about nutrition and fitness.
“For now,” she says, “I would like to work toward a management position at my current company and look into becoming an IT project management consultant. Eventually maybe Ill go for a Ph.D. in MIS.”
As you can see, she’s serious when she says she came to enjoy learning her MIS classes!
An open invitation to enjoy Chicago
A Chicago native, even though she now lives in Westmont, Illinois, Meredith hopes everyone reading this will have a chance to visit: “Chicago is a great city. There are so many great people, places, and festivals to attend all year round.”