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WGU Graduate Speaker, Joanna Goslin, Winter 2009

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WGU Graduate Speaker, Joanna Goslin, Winter 2009
Western Governors University
<p>Joanna Goslin, a 24-year-old mother of 3, shares the challenges and rewards of earning her business degree online through nonprofit Western Governors University at WGU's Winter Commencement. Goslin, who lives in rural Oregon, traveled to Salt Lake City to accept her diploma and speak at graduation.</p> <p>Joanna Goslin earned her Bachelor of Science, Human Resource Management degree.</p> <p>Transcription of video:</p> <p>I first want to thank my wonderful husband Seth, who has supported me every step of the way throughout this process. Thank you for your understanding, your sacrifice, and your selflessness. Thank you also for all the diapers that you changed so that I could study. That's some serious selflessness. Thanks to my mentor Joe Merritt. You have been my advocate, my advisor, my supporter and my biggest fan. Your words of encouragement have inspired me to strive to reach my greatest potential. </p> <p>I've always known that my future would be in business. My first business was as a four year old when I gathered up all the books in the house and told my family that if they wanted access to their books they had to purchase a library card from me. I soon graduated to opening a cafe in which I tried to convince my mom to purchase food for me that I had taken from our kitchen. Throughout my childhood and adolescence I always had some business scheme going. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, my response was to be an inventor. That was my response because the word entrepreneur is not in the vocabulary of the average six year old. </p> <p>As much as I loved business, I knew that I needed an education to fulfill my dreams. I also knew that traditional school was not for me. I made that discovery in the third grade. I didn't really like math so I decided to try to finish my math book as quickly as possible. When I completed it midway through the year I was horrified to discover that there was still more math to learn. I was given a fourth grade math book from another school district to work on for the rest of third grade and was told that I would still have to do the regular math book the next year. It was at that point that I decided that I would do what I needed to get by in school, but nothing more. This was my philosophy through the rest of my schooling into junior high and high school and followed me as I enrolled in classes at the local community college. My grades were always good enough, but I never really applied myself because I didn't see the point of making the extra effort. I still had this passion for business, but I didn't like school. </p> <p>I was researching where to transfer after community college when I discovered Western Governors. I knew right away that this was the type of college I was looking for. I loved that the format allowed students to complete classes at their own pace without sitting in a classroom for a certain number of hours. I called an enrollment counselor and signed up for WGU right away. I asked how quickly I could expect to finish and was told that nobody does more than 40 units in a term. I decided right then that I would try to do all of my units in a single term. You might say that I'm a little bit competitive. </p> <p>I took several classes at the community college, but because I didn't really have a plan, many of these classes weren't transferable. I was able to transfer 16 units, which left 106 that needed to be completed. My term started July 1st, 2008 and I met my goal of completing 106 units in six months, spending 25 to 30 hours a week on school. The last six months have indeed been a wild ride, but I want to make it clear that I had already developed some competencies in community college that I could quickly demonstrate. The WGU competency model allowed me to go quickly while still learning a great deal. In the past six years since graduating high school I have gotten married, had three beautiful girls and graduated from college. Not bad for 24 years old. </p> <p>Now that I have this degree, I hope to use my business knowledge to help create opportunities for others. Although some of the circumstances surrounding my graduation may be unique, I believe that the characteristics that have allowed me to be successful are not. They are available for each of us as we move into the next phase of life. The first of these characteristics is creativity. With three kids ages four and under I had to be creative in overcoming challenges. One of my favorite memories is driving home after doing some errands and looking in the back seat to realize that all three of the girls were asleep. I quietly found a place to pull over and fired up the laptop. I got a half an hour of school work done before the first kid woke up. </p> <p>The second characteristic is awareness. I had to be aware of my own limitations and work around them. There was no way that I could do school when the show The Office was on. Thursday night from 9:30 was not time for school. I am also aware that my education will be a lifelong process and the skills learned through Western Governors will allow me to continue the journey.</p> <p>Finally, I never gave up. When obstacles got in the way I stayed on course. I had hoped to complete my degree without the need to work outside the home, but that plan didn't work out and in September I began working 25 hours a week at a local retail store. I thought this job would force me to put my goals on the back burner, but with the support of my family I was able to continue my schoolwork and complete the program.</p> <p>Creativity, awareness, never giving up. These spell the word "CAN". By receiving our degrees, we've each proven that we can. Whatever obstacles lay before you in the future, you can. We each have individual characteristics that have allowed us to be successful. We can each take those attributes to the next phase of life and be successful there as well. The road that has led each of us to this day has had trials, challenges and setbacks, and each of us has overcome them. Wherever you go, whatever lies ahead on the road of life, you have already proven that you can accomplish what you set your mind to. Thank you.</p> <p>[Applause]</p>
Western Governors University
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Original Format: 
Commencement Video
Digital Format: 
MP4 (Moving Picture Experts Group)