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NYC Resident and MBA Graduate, Faye Johnson, Celebrates a New Year Full of Hope

SE OK MBA Accounting Faye Johnson

The pandemic gave New York City a different look for the 2020 holiday season, but resident Faye Johnson still had much to celebrate. She graduated in December from the online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Concentration in Accounting program from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in just 14 months.

"I can't believe I did this!" she said. "I've learned so much from my classmates and my professors that I would never exchange it for anything else."

While she had a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) in Accounting from NYC-based Baruch College, she longed for more.

"I felt if I got an MBA, I could move my career further instead of feeling stuck in one place. I've noticed that most employers in my field are asking for a CPA or MBA in accounting," said Johnson, a tax auditor in NYC's finance department.

Although she considered returning to an on-campus program, the online format proved most conducive to her schedule as a full-time employee, wife and mother. The affordability, completion time and accreditation of Southeastern's program were significant factors, too.

"It was perfect," Johnson said. "With all that's going on with the pandemic in NYC, I felt that if I was not in school, especially online, I would have gone crazy. The isolation put a strain on me. I won't deny it."

She cited time management as one of the most important skills for being a disciplined online student.

Gratitude Galore

Johnson is grateful for every professor and every course she completed in Southeastern's online MBA program. One of her favorites, MKT 5243: Marketing Management, even inspired her to start a business.

"I have developed better critical thinking skills and research methods thanks to the classes at SE Oklahoma," she said.

Johnson's small-business idea revolves around teaching others who are considering a return to school for higher education. Given that her own parents did not receive a college education, she loves encouraging others to pursue their dreams like she did.

Another memorable class was MNGT 5223: Behavioral Management, which helped her think about the way she writes and how to frame her thoughts. "I've become a better communicator," she said.

The program gave her more confidence in her subject area, but also opened her eyes to the possibility of pursuing a Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.) in accounting. She has also been pleasantly surprised at all that she has learned, since she was initially skeptical about enrolling in an online program.

"The professors are awesome and readily available," she said. "And one of the greatest things about this online program is you have a coach who is always ready to help. But if for any reason they can't, they go to the professor on your behalf."

Best-Kept Secret

Only Johnson's husband, mother and two close friends knew she was enrolled in an MBA program. Others were shocked when they saw her graduation announcement, wondering how she found the time to juggle it all.

"You have to have perseverance, and you have to believe in yourself and do what is best for you. Sometimes you don't need to tell everyone what you're doing," Johnson said.

The school hosted a virtual graduation, giving each student a web page with family and friends' pictures and comments to celebrate the graduates. A pre-recorded ceremony recognizing each one by name and a speech by the president capped Johnson's major achievement.

Her career trajectory grew from subjects she studied as a teenager.

"When you reach ninth grade in the West Indies, the school puts you in the sciences or business. I had a love for accounting and business classes," said Johnson.

She decided to pursue accounting when she migrated to America and never looked back.

Next Stop

While continuing to work in criminal taxation auditing, Johnson aspires to move into internal auditing, pursue her D.B.A. and possibly do some teaching on the side. The MBA program has helped her think more like a manager in her current job and will open doors for new opportunities when she is ready.

She has plans to become a certified fraud examiner and add to her growing list of credentials. Prior to the pandemic, she loved to roller-skate, read, visit museums and explore new neighborhoods. Now that her online MBA program is complete, she is enjoying the opportunity to work remotely and spend additional quality time with her family.

She found all of her Southeastern professors to be great, with Dr. Linda Bressler and Dr. Jeffrey Risher making an especially strong impression.

"They were wonderful," she said. "I wouldn't trade my experience at Southeastern Oklahoma State University for anything."

Learn more about Southeastern's online MBA program with a Concentration in Accounting.


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