3 Questions for Gerri Wilson | Ashford Connections
Tanisha, Myke, and Gerri, also known as the 3 Scholars, met during their Master of Arts in Organizational Management degree program. The friendship and support they gained from one another pushed them to achieve success not only in their program, but also in establishing the AU Chapter of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) with their professor, Dr. Katie Thiry. The three of them have since moved on to pursue their PhDs together at University of the Rockies. First Tanisha, then Myke, and now Gerri, are filling us in on what their educational journeys have looked like.
What Should We Know About You?
“I am 49 years old, live in Fort Mill, SC, hold a bachelor's degree in Public Relations & Marketing and a master’s degree in Organizational Management with a specialization in Leadership. I am a member of the following honor societies: Golden Key International, Alpha Sigma Lambda, and Sigma Beta Delta. I am the Chief of Staff of Perkins Management Services, a position that was created for me as a result of earning my master’s degree. As chief of staff, I am the executive in charge of administrative operations for the entire organization. We provide campus dining and catering services for seven universities; hospitality services for the US Coast Guard in New Haven, CT and Key West, FL; food services at the Environmental Protection Agency in North Carolina; several franchise operations including Burger King, Church’s Chicken, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, Subway, Red Mango, Perkins Dry Cleaning, and other private catering events for the private and public sectors.
“I’m a member of the Human Resource Management Advisory Committee for the Forbes School of Business & Technology™ and a board member of the Brewerville Civic Association, Inc. (a non-profit). My most major accomplishment is being mother to a beautiful, intelligent 18-year-old daughter. My sister and I also co-own Wilson & Wilson catering. I enjoy family time and Sunday dinners, traveling with my daughter, reading, and going to the movies.”
Why Did You Choose to Return to School?
“I decided to earn my BA in Public Relations & Marketing in December of 2012 because I needed to set the example for my then-12-year-old daughter. I wanted to advance in my career, and earning my degree was the only way. I chose Ashford because it’s an online institution, and I did not have the time to attend a traditional college. I also considered cost, accreditation, and the degree programs offered. The deciding factor, the reason I went with Ashford, was Geronima “Gerri” Jenkins, the enrollment advisor who contacted me when I requested more information.”
Geronima “Gerri” Jenkins remembers Gerri Wilson too, over five years later. “I knew from our first call that she was going far. She has that grit to her.” Gerri Jenkins wasn’t surprised when she learned Gerri Wilson had graduated with her master’s degree and continued on for her PhD. “I love helping students take the next step, climb the staircase to success. Gerri has taken the steps and climbed every staircase, despite any challenges,” Gerri Jenkins adds.
What Stands Out Most About Your Experience?
“In four and a half short years, the biggest changes in my professional life have occurred, all because I took a chance on myself through Ashford. Never in my imagination did I expect I’d meet and become friends (now family) with my fellow classmates, and I never expected to meet a professor who would take such an interest in my development as a student and in my career. Delighted is an understatement.”
Gerri’s friendship with her classmates inspired the #AshfordConnections contest. Check the link to find out how you and your favorite classmate could win a trip to San Diego for Ashford’s spring commencement and vote for your favorite entries.
Written by Gerri Wilson and Kelsey Bober, Content Manager for Bridgepoint Education