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May 3, 2019 | Business, MBA, News, SPGS

Graduating together

Carmen Romero-Nichols, MBA ’19, had a significant motive for pursuing higher education: setting an example for her daughter.

“I became a mother at a very young age in the summer after my sophomore year of high school,” said Romero-Nichols. “I made it a goal to pursue my education to set an example for my daughter.”

Juggling homework, a job, and a preschooler while working on her bachelor’s degree was challenging, but after five years, Romero-Nichols earned her degree.

Romero-Nichols had planned to go to law school, but put it off to support her daughter, Gabriela. Years later, when she decided to return to school, she felt that an MBA was a better fit and began searching for the right program.

In 2017, she found Baker and enrolled in the Master of Business Administration program.

“I considered several schools before choosing Baker,” Romero-Nichols said. “I determined that Baker was the best choice for me because the staff was friendly and helpful and made me feel wanted. I never felt like another number to them. My husband is in the military and the veteran’s specialist got in touch with me right away to see how they could be helpful to me.”

Although Romero-Nichols is an online student, she said her course work fostered collaboration with other students that she anticipates staying in touch with after graduation.

“During the first course I took at Baker, some students and I formed a group text in which we still post questions or have short discussions every now and then,” she said. “I once had an assignment in which I had to interview someone I couldn’t get in touch with. One of the students from that text group was able to get me in touch with [them]. My interview wouldn’t have been half as good without his help and I was very grateful. That’s what networking is all about. “

Now a working mom of two, she has found that Baker’s course structure fits into her busy life.

“I have always been a multitasker, but the flexibility that I have taking online classes has been very helpful balancing home and work life,” Romero-Nichols said. “Focusing on one course at a time has helped me to understand the content better. It’s been challenging at times, but good things don’t come easy.”

After enrolling in the MBA program, Romero-Nichols reflected on her undergraduate experience and set a goal for graduate school.

“Looking back, I knew I could have done better [in undergrad] had I been more focused,” she said. “For this reason, when I enrolled in this program, I made it a goal to give it my best. I have finished this degree with a perfect GPA.”

A 4.0 GPA is reason enough to celebrate, but Romero-Nichols’s graduation marks a significant event.

“This May, I will graduate with a master’s in business administration, and my daughter will graduate from high school,” she said. “I couldn’t be prouder of us both. She and her sister are the main reasons why I continue bettering myself.”

Romero-Nichols is excited to graduate and said she is looking forward to future management opportunities.

“The courses have been very helpful to my professional growth,” Romero-Nichols said. “I have never felt like I made the wrong choice in choosing the MBA program or choosing Baker University.”

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