We can talk all day about WGU Nevada and the details that make this online university based in Nevada new and different—but we have a better idea. Instead, we would like to have our amazing alums share their stories and offer advice to other WGU Nevada students. This post in this series is about Gina Mastromarino who graduated in 2014 from WGU with a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
What career are you in now?
I was already in my desired career for 25 years when I started the MBA program at WGU in 2012. I graduated from UNLV in 1987 with an accounting degree, and immediately entered the casino and hospitality industry. I moved quickly up the corporate ladder and was in a key management role by the age of 25. However, as I worked longer in the industry it became more important for me to pursue additional education in order to stay competitive in the job market. Obtaining my MBA at WGU has allowed me to maintain key management positions at the level and pay I desire.
What made you choose WGU Nevada as your higher education institution?
At the time, my daughter was in high school and I was a working, single mom. Going back to a typical brick-and-mortar institution was not in the cards, so I was looking at online options. I was a little skeptical at first, but it just so happened I had a friend who was currently in the nursing program through WGU out of Salt Lake City and after some conversations with her, I looked into WGU for me. WGU had the degree I was trying to achieve, it was accredited, and I liked the tuition model. It was an affordable option that also allowed me to move through it quickly because of the competency-based grading model. I had been working in industry for 25 years already and had so much knowledge and experience I was bringing to the table. I was able to move through the program at a comfortable pace and take as many courses as I could handle at one time without changing the price of tuition. WGU was a great value and based on my fantastic experience, I would recommend it to anyone thinking of going back to school.
Have you attended any WGU Nevada events: graduation, luncheons, baseball games, bowling nights?
Sometimes scheduling is difficult for me to attend alumni events, but one of the things I always look forward to is volunteering for graduation. When I entered WGU, I spoke to a friend who was a professor at another online school and the best advice he gave me was to attend my graduation ceremony, wherever it was held. It was something I thought about as I progressed through my program. In January 2015, I attended my graduation in Florida, along with others from all over the U.S., and it was a thrilling experience. Now I always encourage others to do the same; attend their graduation ceremony, and I look forward to seeing the look on the graduate’s faces as they accept their diplomas with such pride.
What advice do you have for an adult thinking about going back to school?
Jump in and start! The scary thing for me when I entered WGU was the thought of going back to school after 25 years and it being virtual. I would highly recommend reading blog posts of other students and alumni from WGU. That’s what I did before I entered the MBA program, and I was able to seek advice and learn a lot of great tips such as investing in two computer monitors and using OneNote to stay organized.
We want to thank Gina for sharing her story, her advice, and her wisdom. Share her story on your social media as it could spark passion in someone else thinking of going back to school.