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WGU Graduate Speaker, Marc Miranda, Winter 2016

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WGU Graduate Speaker, Marc Miranda, Winter 2016
Western Governors University
<p>Marc Miranda of Clifton Park, N.Y., was in a career rut—and he wasn't afraid to tell his boss as much. He soon found himself unemployed, and with that extra time, he decided to take advantage of WGU's competency-based model and earn his MBA in just six months.</p> <p>Marc Miranda earned his Master of Business Administration degree.</p> <p>Transcription of video:</p> <p>Dr. Robert W. Mendenhall: We are pleased to have four graduate speakers today representing the different colleges. To be honest, I wish we could hear the story of each of you, and had time to do that, for I know that each of you have a unique journey and story that have brought you to this place today. But we'll be pleased to hear four representatives of this graduating class.</p> <p>We will hear first from Marc Miranda from Clifton Park, New York, who has graduated with his MBA degree today. We will then hear from Sara Aronack from New Brockton, Alabama who has received a master's degree in nursing, leadership, and management. She will be followed by Adrienne Saulsberry, who has received a bachelor's degree in science education. And finally, from Brett Ford, from Charlotte, North Carolina, who has received a bachelor's degree in information technology. Marc.</p> <p>Marc Miranda: Have you ever had a job where you woke up every morning and thought, "This is just awful." "Do I really have to go in today? Can they just continue to pay me and I can stay home indefinitely?" That's what it was like for me every day, for years. My career had hit a rut, and I was stuck. I was moving from job to job trying to find my place. I was stagnant.</p> <p>I knew I had to make a change and I felt this desire to do so. I just didn't know how. Last year I started to complete in triathlons and I was just trying to deal with stress. It just so happened I competed with a man who took interest in my career, and education. And I told him how difficult it was to find time to complete a two year MBA program at a local university and then add an additional $50,000 in student loans on an already existing large amount.</p> <p>Interestingly enough, this man was a dean of a local college. He had experience working with students over the years to help them achieve their academic goals. He told me about an online university that was accredited, affordable, and respected. And it was for busy adults where I can go at my own pace. After researching some more, I knew I had found the answer I had been looking for.</p> <p>When I started my MBA at WGU, I was working in sales for this large technology company. Frustrated and unhappy with what my career had become, I approached my divisional vice president and said, "You know that job you hired me to do? Well, I just don't feel like doing it anymore." Looking back at this, one can conclude the craziness of approaching the man who hired you, and telling him you don't want to do what he pays you to do. I like to tell myself I was courageous at this moment because I really thought I was. My family and friends, however, they thought otherwise. They said, "Marc, that was stupid."</p> <p>I was given time to find a position within the company or out. But I lacked experience, they said. I didn't have the qualifications they were looking for, they said. So I ended up losing that job. My mentor call was the following evening and it couldn't have come at a better time. I explained to Lisa of my unemployment situation and I remember her sharing a few words I needed to hear. She said, "You can do this, Marc, it's been done before." She said, "I believe in you." Those were the exact words of encouragement I needed it to hear. I decided to devote all my time to completing by MBA within six months.</p> <p>My vision for a future with a WGU statement was the first thing I saw every morning when I woke up. It read: "Experiencing the most rewarding and fulfilling career because I dedicated myself to this achievement." Faith. Faith that those words would come true kept me moving forward. So I did what had to be done. I spent all my time studying. I spent more time at the local library than the librarians.</p> <p>And listen, this strategy opened a door to so many opportunities that I have never even dreamed. For example, part of the MBA capstone is solving a real world business problem. So I had to find a business with a problem, which proved kind of challenging because I couldn't use my current employer because I didn't have one.</p> <p>So I hit the phones. I started targeting companies and industries I wanted to work in. And I would say and ask one after the other, I'd say, "Hey, do you have a business problem that I could analyze?" And finally one CEO said, "Marc, we've got a lot of problems for you to analyze." I had met my match. And with that company I was able to demonstrate the competencies that I learned from my MBA at WGU. And they were impressed. The CEO said, "Hey, intern, you're pretty good at solving these business problems, how about a career?" She said, "How about a career as a business manager at our medical practice?" I said, "Yes, I need a career." [Laughter]</p> <p>I had been looking for one of those for a very long time. And on top of that, I informed that dean that I compete with in triathlons, I told him about my success at WGU. He said, "Excellent, Marc. I could use someone with your skills and talents to be an adjunct instructor at night at my campus." I said, "Interesting, when is the interview." He said, "Now, and you're hired." [Applause]</p> <p>And my role there is to teach, inspire, and motivate students to hit their academic goals. What an amazing experience. I can't even believe they pay me to do it. So I went from having no career, and no job prospects to having two amazing, fulfilling, and rewarding careers. What a great deal this was. I can't believe it. What a gift.</p> <p>What I have found interesting is after graduating is how frequently I come into contact with people who are stuck in their careers, just like I was. It's like looking back at where I was less than a year ago. Now I get to share with them my experience about how I overcame those challenges. I get to share my story. I get to share with them the hopelessness I once felt, and how I became willing to make a change, and what resulted because of it.</p> <p>When I share with them how the pursuit of an MBA at WGU changed my life, I can see something change in their eyes, I can see hope. Overall, this is the beginning of a new path in my life that has allowed me to set an amazing example for my eight year old daughter, Gianna. I have found no greater joy in this achievement than seeing the look on her face, and hearing her sweet voice say to me, "I am proud of you, Daddy." Congratulations to all of you, and good luck on your journeys. That's all I got.</p> <p>[Applause]</p>
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Original Format: 
Commencement Video
Digital Format: 
MP4 (Moving Picture Experts Group)