Seven years. Three promotions. Two degrees.
Kim Blais’ academic and professional journey has taken leaps and bounds since she started her education online with Florida Tech. Working full-time along the way meant that Blais could “have it all.”
“I not only worked full-time while pursuing both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Florida Tech, but I was able to secure three promotions over the seven-year process of finishing both degrees online. I am a single working mother that was not held back by any obligations. If you work hard and focus, anything is possible!”
We spoke with Blais about her experience in an online classroom, favorite course and future plans.
Q. Tell us about your background.
I am a 45-year-old woman living in Viera, FL. I grew up in Minnesota and moved to North Carolina in 2000. After spending ten years in Charlotte, I moved my family to the space coast of Florida in 2010. I currently reside in Viera with my fiancé and daughter along with our beloved miniature golden doodle, Norman. Professionally, I have been employed with a global hospitality company since moving to Florida in 2010. I frequently travel for work and enjoy spending quality family time when home in Viera.
Q. What were the most important factors in your decision to choose Florida Tech?
The most important factors when deciding on what school to attend were the convenience and ease of attending classes as well as the reputation of the school overall. I had a deep desire to stay with a college here in Florida. I received both my bachelor’s degree as well as my master’s degree from Florida Tech. My ability to continue to advance my career while pursuing my education was essential, as well as the reputation of the school. Florida Tech allowed for both of these criteria to be fulfilled.
Q. How will your Florida Tech degree make a difference in your career?
The degrees I have obtained with Florida Tech will allow me to quickly advance my career and enhance the competitive nature of my application. Not only does it enable me to pursue advanced career options, but it also gives me the confidence to know I was able to achieve a master’s degree while still moving my career forward.
Q. Do you have any future plans with your degree?
For now, I will continue to pursue opportunities within my current employer. Future plans include exploring outside of the current industry I am in and focusing on leveraging my experience with my advanced education.
Q. What surprised you most about taking an online program?
What surprised me the most about taking an online program was the level of connectivity and interaction with other students. I was pleasantly surprised to feel the level of connection during the process.
Q. What was your favorite class and why?
My favorite classes were focused on consumer behavior. The reasons behind this pertain to my current job and industry. The direct application of the learnings from these classes to real-world situations at work allowed me to understand the data provided to me and make sound business decisions.
Q. What was your most valuable takeaway from the program?
The most valuable takeaway from the program was the realization that I have the ability to truly have it all! I not only worked full-time while pursuing both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Florida Tech, but I was able to secure three promotions over the seven-year process of finishing both degrees online. I am a single working mother that was not held back by any obligations. If you work hard and focus, anything is possible!
Q. What advice would you give other students who are considering enrolling in the program?
Prior to enrolling, I would advise students to consider their level of commitment to excellence. Once the decision to enroll has been made, diligence to complete tasks and assignments during times like the holidays or planned vacations can be challenging. The program requires a high degree of commitment and sacrifice to succeed in this online environment.
Q. Who has been your support system?
My support system has consisted of my family and friends, especially my daughter Margaux! She just turned 12, and for the last seven years, her mother has been preoccupied with both work and studying for school. My peers and leaders at work have also been very supportive of the time needed away from work to properly complete required school assignments. I had a large network of colleagues, family and friends to cheer me on!
Q. What was the most challenging part of your student journey?
The most challenging part of my student journey was balancing all my professional, educational and personal obligations. I was blessed to have had the support system in place while I pursued my degrees.
Q. Who or what inspires you to succeed?
My daughter inspires me to succeed. The primary reason to pursue both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees was to set a positive example and be a role model for Margaux. I think it’s important for her to understand with hard work and focus you can achieve anything you set your mind to!
Q. What is one fun fact about you?
One fun fact about me is I am an avid golfer. I love to golf and cherish my time on the course with my fiancé and daughter. All of us love to golf, and we enjoy the courses here in the space coast area as much as possible!
Have you completed one of Florida Tech’s online programs? We would love to share your success story in our Student Spotlight series. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional details.