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My Journey Into the Jenkins Online MAC Program

(Written by Jess Robinson)

Who am I?

Hello Everyone! My name is Jessica and I was born and raised in Long Beach Island, New Jersey. After attending community college in NJ, my aunt and uncle presented me with an excellent opportunity to come live with them in Raleigh and go to a nearby school. My uncle is a retired director of the NC State vet school and was obviously partial to NC State’s excellence. I graduated from NC State with a bachelor of mathematics and a plan to be a middle school math teacher. I went into teaching through the lateral entry program. This path was challenging but I’m grateful for the educators I met and the experience of teaching for five years. 

During my third year of teaching I met my future husband and taught in the same school with him.  The summer that we got married, I left my teaching career to pursue a career in the private sector. I got a full time job soon after at a construction company as their accounts receivable manager. I’ve been at the same company ever since. We have two wonderful daughters and share a love for travel, music, and art to name a few. I consider myself a jack of all trades and love to research and master new projects. I enjoy hosting fun activities and gatherings with my family and friends. 

My Journey BACK to the Wolfpack!

Over the years I knew I wanted to go back to school and get my masters. I never had a particular time frame in mind but knew that when the time was right I would know. During this past year of quarantine, I did a lot of reflecting on life and my goals and aspirations. I reached out to Jay Arrington, MAC associate director of admissions to discuss my options and decided to join the Jenkins MAC program part time and online.  Before beginning this semester I had to complete Intermediate I and II through the ASAP program. The ASAP program has been an amazing resource and has given me the knowledge needed to meet the prerequisites.  

I am still working full time and chose to take one class this semester to get my feet wet and see how our family can manage this time commitment. I am five weeks into the program and happy with my decision to try one class instead of two to get myself organized and disciplined to take on more in the spring. I completed the data analytics bootcamp in the first week of this semester. The data analytics bootcamp was interesting as we practiced identifying questions, mastering data, analyzing results, performing test results, and communicating visually.  We did most of our work in assigned teams. By working in teams it gave us the opportunity to develop relationships with other students in the online program.

I know the work for the Jenkins MAC program will not be easy, but am excited for the challenge. I plan to focus on the learning and the grades will come, which is a bit of advice that was given to me during an orientation social event prior to the semester starting. Good luck to everyone, keep in mind that if it’s not difficult it’s not work, and if it’s not work then you can’t grow.

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