Greetings East Carolina University. As a new member to the Technology, Information and Operations Department I find it fitting to properly introduce myself, via my blog that will welcome you into my personal life. It’s exciting to have this honor and I hope to have tons of followers who stay interested, recommend topics and follow me on my journey as I receive my MBA from East Carolina University.
My objective is to give students, both new and old, a different perspective on the ups and downs during the process of making it into the MBA program and my experiences during this process.
The best way for me to start this story is to express how excited I am to be a part of this program. I’ve come a long way in my life so far; from not even being sure I wanted to go to college, to going part time in community college, then stepping up to full time, eventually getting accepted to ECU, dropping out briefly due to uncertainty of where my education was taking me, re-enrolling, graduating, and most recently getting accepted to ECU’s MBA Program.
For the past 10 years I have worked as an employee at your local hardware store, and we’ll say that it’s not Home Depot. From day one I was the golden child who could do no wrong as I excelled quickly with every task assigned to me and moved up the ranks. I faced my first problem when I enrolled at ECU and was transferred from New Bern to Greenville. Because I knew that I wanted to further my education, my new employers told me I could only get promoted to a certain level within the company, and not to expect more. I was told that my hours needed to be more flexible but unfortunately my school schedule would not allow for this.
Over an 8 year span I worked very hard and even turned down several management positions until I finally made the decision to drop out of school. I needed time to figure out what was more important to me and so for a year I contemplated about my life. I was somewhat lost for this time period. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my education, I didn’t have any specific direction, and yet I enjoyed the security from the money that I was bringing into my home. I soon started enjoying the new role I was given by my employers. I am a person who takes pride in what I do and I have developed an incredible work ethic which has been passed down from generation to generation. For me, there is something rewarding about being given responsibility and having others rely on you.
Then the time came when all that responsibility was taken away from me and eventually my job too. I know what you’re thinking, – what did you do to get fired? But there is a catch. I didn’t get fired, our company restructured. And because I had worked so hard up to this point I was given the opportunity to choose any position in the store that I wanted, outside of a managerial position of course. So, since I already knew quite a lot about the structure of my store, I chose a position where I could work 7:00 am until 4:00 pm Monday through Friday and get every weekend off.
Losing the previous position that I loved so much pushed me to reconsider what my future goals were and if I had any real future with my current employer. The answer, seemed to be NO. I realized that I had to better myself and the only way was through education. So, I decided to go back to school. This decision turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
During my first semester back at school everything seemed to be working out quite well. I took an online class, one day class, and the rest of my classes were at night. For the most part my employers were willing to work with my school schedule. Until, I messed everything up. Although this story isn’t as painful physically to tell as the actual act itself, it still hurts the ego. During a workout session at the gym with a personal trainer, I managed to break my ankle doing pull ups. Yes, pull ups.
Once again my personal life decisions would affect my work status. Because I would no longer be able to perform physical labor at work while I recovered, I was moved back to a sales floor position assisting customers.
Ankle broken, morale busted, enthusiasm… none. I began to find my place, outside of work, outside of the gym and in the classroom. With a new boost of motivation and a few years of maturity under my belt, I excelled in education and began to find school fun. I started challenging myself with the assignments I received and strived to get the best grades possible. My drive and ambition increased and “just getting by” was not my standard anymore. My personal life to this point taught me to be patient and to look towards future goals, instead of previously seeking immediate satisfaction. I set goals in the classroom and worked hard to achieve them, and I can honestly say that it was very rewarding.
With graduation around the corner, my job still in question, and my grades better than ever; the opportunity of going to graduate school entered my mind. Because I had just recently been told that I was an exceptional student, there were a lot of things I still needed to do in order to guarantee my spot as a graduate student. First and foremost, I had to pass the GMAT. This would prove to be a difficult journey. I must admit that my first try was unsuccessful and I felt very demoralized. I had gone to all of the special training classes and studied very hard for the test and missed out by 30 points. But I didn’t give up, I decided to try again. I passed the test and was given the chance to continue on with my education and charge forward toward my Master’s degree. The feeling is beyond compare to know that I am striving for higher goals.
The most difficult time about going back to school as an unconventional student is balancing my personal and school life. I’ve created a life outside of school with my wife and my dog and it makes for a difficult time when spending long nights in the library.
However, there are a few things I have learned along the way that have made the process easier. I’ve been lucky enough to surround myself with people who care. My parents are very supportive in the decisions I make and help me on the journey’s I take, no matter how silly they seem at times. My wife and her father have supported me during this process and provided a lot of the moral support I needed on a day to day basis. It helps that my wife just recently graduated and understands the strain the education system can put on an individual’s (and couples) life style.
Finally, and most importantly, I’ve used my time off from education to make sense of what got me to my present situation. A smart man once told me, and he probably read it in a book somewhere, that there is no such thing as a mistake. No matter where I am or how difficult the circumstance may be, I try to take the positive out of every situation. When I first dropped out of school my opinion on the classes I had taken towards the wrong major was as a waste of time. I began to realize that these were not mistakes, but chances for me to use what I learned and excel above the status quo.
Well everybody, I hoped you enjoyed this introduction and brief glimpse into the life of Corey Pulido. Tune in every Wednesday (EST), because it only gets better from here, seriously. Also, make sure to follow me on twitter and make suggestions for future blogs @ecucob (^CP). If your topics are featured you may get the chance to meet me in person. Don’t miss out on the incredible opportunity.