Jennifer Turner has always prioritized her education. Born and raised in Las Vegas, she went back to school at 31 and was among the first in her family to graduate college, earning her associate’s degree in business administration at College of Southern Nevada before transitioning to UNLV for her bachelor’s degree. When she graduated in 2020, Jennifer planned to take a year off but felt the EMBA program would be the logical next step in her lifelong learning journey.
With the support of her family and her company – Jennifer serves as Senior Vice President of Business Banking for Retail at Nevada State Bank – she began the EMBA program in January 2021. Choosing UNLV to complete her graduate education was a no-brainer, she says, as she’s always had “Rebel Pride.”
Jennifer is on track to graduate in July 2022, and no matter what lies ahead for her, she feels prepared, having learned three important lessons from the EMBA program.
- Get Organized
“The hardest challenge I faced at first was the pace and workload,” Jennifer says. “The courses span less than two months at a time, and each comes with group projects, books to read, assignments, tests, and papers to write.”
Jennifer was used to being a student, having just graduated from her bachelor’s program, but the EMBA taught her the importance of prioritization, scheduling, and organization.
“As each set of classes began I would take time to go through each syllabus and plan out my next 6-8 weeks of work to include studying, homework, and group meetings,” she explains. “This helped so that I had a baseline of what to expect in my schedule, so I could manage time better at home and work.”
Developing her plan in advance has kept her from experiencing burnout, Jennifer adds, while having the support of her cohorts has helped keep her on track.
- Put Your Skills to Work
Taking what you’ve learned in class and putting it to work immediately is one of the biggest benefits of the EMBA program, and Jennifer has used her new knowledge and skills – notably her presentation skills -- to make an impact at Nevada State Bank.
“We work in groups and generally present in every class,” she explains. “So working on sharpening PowerPoint skills, effectively communicating within an allotted time frame, and collaborating with a new group each session has helped improve my process of presenting.”
Even her finance acumen has gotten a boost from the program, Jennifer says. Finance was already an area of expertise, but EMBA 710 – Business Finance has taught her even more about the time value of money.
“Taking this class as a graduate just added a heightened level of understanding that I can take back to my current profession,” she says.
3. Embrace Your Cohort and Be An Example
Jennifer’s parents “worked hard to ensure I made education a priority” and that has inspired her to set the same example, not just for her family, but also for her fellow cohort members. As the program brings together such a diverse group of professionals, everyone can learn from one another, and it affords Jennifer an opportunity to showcase her leadership and team-building skills.
“Everyone is going through the same challenges, so having a support system within your cohort is so helpful as you navigate through the program,” she says. “We each have such diverse backgrounds and experiences, connecting and sharing these experiences has been so memorable.
“In addition to being a part of such a great cohort, I have also made great friendships through this program that will continue on past graduation.”