Charles Norman, Jr. ’24 is pursuing our Master of Business Administration program at Christian Brothers University (CBU) while serving as an Energy Technician for Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) Division. Charles shared, “The best thing about my job is customer interaction. Every interaction with a customer allows me to build a stronger relationship, improve their experience, and improve the company’s (MLGW) brand”.
Charles believes that CBU has prepared him for the real world by exposing him to people and courses where the students are diverse and the course material applies to any structure of business. Charles shared, “This correlated to a unique, diverse environment that prepared me to learn about different people, their cultures, and how people learn the same things differently. This opportunity prepared me to interact with anyone in the workplace.”
Charles plans to be in a position of leadership where he can train the next generation of leaders who can exemplify the qualities of an effective leader: emotional intelligence, integrity, and critical thinking. Charles believes that CBU has supported him through challenges. He stated, “CBU is a great community where the individual has to utilize its resources. When I needed help, guidance, and a shoulder to lean on, some professors understood the challenges as a non-traditional graduate student who works and has a family.” The support of CBU’s faculty and staff ensured that Charles could persevere and continue to stride throughout the MBA Program.
Charles described CMBA 680 Strategic Foresight & Management Change & CMBA 640 Achieving Maximum Impact as the classes that stood out throughout the MBA program. Charles appreciated the great professors who had a tremendous impact on him throughout his learning experience. He appreciated their real-world experiences that evaluated the course reading material, where he was able to dissect the readings and apply them immediately to his daily routine of work. Charles expressed that CBU has a host of faculty who have played an integral part in his development. Still, he shared that Professor Nicole A. Thomas, MPA, MBA, Dr. Bevalee Vitali, Professor Alvis Otero, Professor Natalie Jones, and Professor Diane Coons were uniquely amazing and special.
Charles joined a community of CBU graduate students and alumni who he described as “go-getters, self-starters, those who take the initiative .”Charles shared, “I won’t be surprised, years down the road, that we will see some great things that come from the past/current graduate students at CBU.” In closing, Charles stated, “I am truly amazed at what level of experience the graduate students at CBU offer to the classroom discussion. I love it and look forward to working with some of my colleagues in the future”. We are immensely proud of Charles.
Charles advises older, working adults with a family or children to consider enrolling in CBU’s graduate school. He shared, “Don’t be discouraged about your age. There are plenty of opportunities that CBU offers within the Graduate School. Most students work for great corporations; this is a great opportunity to network and make new friends. Come in with the glass is half full mentality, and allow others to pour into your knowledge and wisdom”. We are confident that Charles is a naturally gifted leader. Still, we admire most Charles’s hard work and willingness to continue to earn the respect of his coworkers and peers to ensure he becomes the best leader he can be.
By Kirbi M Tucker