“I feel distinguished and accomplished as an Ashford alumnae.”
Gwendolyn Bates of San Diego, CA, has always been entrepreneurial. When she first attempted operating her own business, she had no shortage of clientele and plenty of orders to fulfill – but because she didn’t have enough capital, she ended up having to shut down the business.
So for her next business venture, she decided to do things a little differently. “I needed to learn how to better delegate my finances and gain structure for operational and functional success.” So she enrolled at Ashford University and earned not only a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management, but also a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Entrepreneurship two years later at age 29.
When we last spoke with her, Gwendolyn was in the process of launching her private label accessory and cosmetic company, G-Fash. “With my degrees, I am able to view my company from a professional business perspective. I’ve been able to implement trend forecasts, marketing and SWOT [strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats] analysis, surveys, population samples, and a financial plan for growth and exit. The degrees have given me greater professionalism and self-confidence in owning and operating a business.”
In addition to her many duties as a fledgling business owner, this busy mom is also president of her children’s elementary school, a PTA board member, and a military spouse who serves as Ombudsman encompassing over eight Naval bases in San Diego. Due to the latter role, on behalf of military spouses, she was nominated to sign an educational proclamation at the Pentagon for the Career Advancement Initiative in 2008, which offered military spouses small grants to go back to school.
Whether she’s working or volunteering, Gwendolyn feels she can confidently draw from her Ashford education. “My education at Ashford plays an enormous role in the quality of service I provide as I work on administrative tasks and give monthly presentations to executive board members. I feel held to a higher standard.”
She looks back on her time at Ashford fondly. “The instructors at Ashford offered me valuable advice and were always accessible when needed, my classmates offered their own experiences that I could apply in my professional life, and the curriculum was outstanding,” she reflects. “The online platform and the technology behind it were easy to use. I felt in control of my education.
“Ashford has given me self-assurance in reorganizing my company to operate it with assertiveness and poise. I also feel that with the degrees, I am more credible and competent. I feel distinguished and accomplished as an Ashford alumnae.” We are equally proud to have alumni like Gwendolyn part of our community.