A Life-Changing Journey
Grace Garnas ’19 (project management) isn’t your typical college student. As an online transfer student at MSUM, she has journeyed far and wide to get where is she today. Although she was born in Fargo, N.D., Garnas and her family moved across the country to Beaverton, Ore., when she was 11. Just over a decade later, she moved back to Fargo to be closer to family.
After leaving Oregon, Garnas spent two years taking classes on and off at NSDU, but something didn’t feel right. Instead of doing something drastic, she decided to think on it.
“I finally figured it out three days before the fall semester started at MSUM,” Garnas said. “I went to Pam McGee’s office and said ‘I’m interested in the Project Management Program.’”
Garnas liked how the Project Management Program could be completed online and how she had the option to take fast-paced summer classes.
Even though the fall semester was a couple of days away, McGee met Garnas with excitement. She looked at her transferring credits and arranged for Garnas to get started in the program right away.
“At that moment, I knew this was the right school for me. I’ve had a lot of professors at different universities, and the professors at MSUM give 150 percent compared to them,” Garnas said. “Their excitement and passion about teaching project management made me passionate about it, too.”
Garnas also credits MSUM for preparing her for her dream job. During one of her project management classes, a chapter in her textbook used the company Accenture as an example. According to the text, Accenture was one of the first companies that decided to invest in employees by helping them figure out what they love to do. Garnas was inspired by this mentality and applied for the consulting development program with 15,000 other candidates in October 2018. After a lengthy process, Garnas was told she made it to the final round of interviews. Two weeks later, she got the job offer.
“It was awesome to see my major and minor all coming to life. The interviewers saw that I knew what I needed to know. They were really impressed, so they hired me to be a Technology Analyst. I started a little higher than what I applied for because I already know consulting from my classes at MSUM.”
Garnas contributes her success to the professors in the Project Management, Global Supply Chain Management and Operations Management programs. She is a true example that even the smallest moments can have a life-changing effect.
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to other colleges to explain my transfer situation and they were immediately closed off. MSUM welcomed me with open arms,” Garnas said. “The professors at MSUM believed in me before I believed in myself about school. Because of them, I finally found something that was successful for me. That in itself is life-changing.”
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Excelling Beyond the Classroom
Clara Derby ’20 (project management and English) has always wanted to work in event management. When she was given the opportunity to do so with MSUM’s Project Management program, she took it.