"One of my biggest cheerleaders has been my dedicated SNHU advisor, Ami. Every single step of the way, she has been there for me."
I still get goose bumps when I’m standing on the sideline, or when I’m in the concourse of Toyota Stadium and hear the roar of the crowd as we score a goal. After 20 years in the sports industry, from tennis to the NFL and now working in Major League Soccer, it never, ever gets old.
It never gets old, because I know how many hours and days were spent dedicated to get to the goal of winning. The players are on the field sweating and running and then as the ball is struck during the match and it flies past their goalie… the awe is just as exciting every single time.
I wanted that feeling in my personal life, and since I’m not a star on the field, I decided I wanted to be a star off the field. I knew something was missing in my life.
The day FC Dallas met with Southern New Hampshire University to discuss a partnership, I knew I was enrolling in a master’s program at SNHU. I went home that same day and told my husband I was dropping out of my current master’s program at another university to be an SNHU student. It’s very unlike me to not think through something more, but I knew it was the right decision. He knew I had been holding myself back and not seeing my full potential, so he encouraged me to go for it and jump in with both feet. I was tired of being on the sideline and was ready to get in the game. For the first time in a long time, I was excited!
It’s been a year now, and I have loved every minute and could not be more proud. I’m amazed at how much of what I study is immediately applicable to my job. Taking online classes has allowed me to study around my crazy schedule in sports, and the professors are incredibly accessible. One of my biggest cheerleaders has been my dedicated SNHU advisor, Ami. Every single step of the way, she has been there for me. Balancing my responsibilities as senior director of partnership marketing at FC Dallas and then being a college student outside of work has been an easy transition because of all the support. Being challenged in school has reinvigorated me, and I find myself applying practices I’m learning to the way I manage.
Looking back, the year has flown by, but I know how many hours and days I spent dedicating myself to my studies. That’s what makes the achievement feel so amazing. It’s my way of scoring a goal and feeling goose bumps knowing what I have accomplished. My husband says I am like a different person now. I’ve stopped second-guessing myself and have the confidence to take on the world. All it took to make me feel like a star was him saying “you deserve this” and someone I had just met at SNHU saying “we would be honored to have you at our school.”
It feels like I just started my program, yet my graduation day in early 2018 will be here before I know it. I have to remember to pause and take a moment and reflect on my path along the way. Just like our soccer players’ dedication on the field, students like myself spend countless hours studying to reach the ultimate goal of graduation – well, and the roar of the crowd on that big day!