We recently spoke with Tracie Edwards, a Penn State World Campus student who is working full-time and finishing her course work
What will be your graduation year and degree from Penn State World Campus?
I will graduate in May 2019 with a Master of Professional Studies in Enterprise Architecture.
What is your current hometown?
Salt Lake City, Utah
What/where is your current career and workplace?
I’m an IT business analyst at C.R. England, a trucking company that is the largest refrigerated carrier in the country.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
I have a hybrid role, where I do a lot of project management as well as business analysis. I’m generally in multiple project meetings every day, working with other team members to finalize and clarify requirements, schedule upcoming work, and provide regular status updates to the IT management team. I also try to spend some time every week working on my skill set to make sure I remain up to date in my career.
How did you become interested in the field you are currently working in?
As with most of the business analysts I talk to, it wasn’t necessarily a targeted career path when we started out. In my case, an opportunity presented itself to work on a project, which started as long-term, then became full-time. It turned out I was good at it. And here I am almost 20 years later.
How has Penn State World Campus impacted your career?
I changed jobs about six months ago, and I’m convinced that would not have happened without my Penn State World Campus studies. I’ve also connected with many people in the program, which has helped broaden my perspective.
What are some of the challenges you faced when you were a World Campus student? How did you overcome these challenges?
Working full-time, going to school, and trying to have a life outside of work and school have definitely been challenging. I also found that not everyone in my sphere was as keen about my going back to school as I was. I overcame the first challenge through better time management and prioritization (I had to learn to say no to some things). I also had to learn that I can’t let other people’s plans for me keep me from trying to improve myself and my career.
Do you stay connected with Penn State? How do you stay connected?
I do stay connected — I’m a World Campus Student Ambassador and a Smart Track mentor. I actively follow Penn State programs on social media, and I’ve joined the Blue and White Society. I also understand there’s a Penn State Alumni Association chapter here in Salt Lake, and I plan to join that after I graduate.
What is some advice that you would give to a current Penn State World Campus student?
Keep on track – stay on schedule with your assignments. Manage and prioritize your time, and learn to say no to things that aren’t a high priority. Be patient. Believe in yourself and your ability to impact people and do great things.