Winning Voices:  Cherelyn Rodgers, Senior Public Relations Specialist at FedEx Express

Winning Voices:  Cherelyn Rodgers, Senior Public Relations Specialist at FedEx Express

Each week, JWMI profiles students and alumni in its new featured series “Winning Voices.” Learn about our diverse community and what sets our program apart from those who have experienced it. For more great “Winning Voices” content, click here.

Cherelyn Rodgers
Senior Public Relations Specialist
FedEx Express

What do you do at FedEx Express?

Employee appreciation is a huge part of the FedEx culture. Employee events help to demonstrate to the workforce how much their service and incredible acts of kindness are appreciated. I manage several of these internal employee events that showcase and celebrate our employees who do an extraordinary job delivering exceptional service to our customers. I was recently assigned a new project to foster relationships through corporate outreach efforts. This project will educate the next generation on the aviation industry opportunities and career opportunities at FedEx.

How has JWMI’s curriculum helped you in your career?

JWMI has contributed significantly to the critical thinking skills that I incorporate daily within my projects. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I had to respond quickly to communicate the cancellation of our outreach and employee recognition programs to stakeholders and provide a contingency plan on the course of action. Ironically, one of the assignments earlier in my Capstone covered contingency planning. As a result of that assignment and similar scenarios, I quickly formulated a plan and promptly communicated with the necessary audiences.

JWMI has contributed significantly to the critical thinking skills that I incorporate daily within my projects.

Why were you looking to get an MBA?

Obtaining my MBA was a personal goal that I realized after being promoted from an administrative professional to an associate public relations specialist. The idea continued to grow as I realized that the sacrifice was worth the investment in my future. I reached out to the JWMI admissions office, and the rest is history.

Did you find the curriculum immediately applicable, please explain?

Candidly, I did not feel that the curriculum was applicable when I first started the program. However, after each term, it became apparent that every course was a compliment to the previous. Surprisingly, I realized that the skills I had developed along the way fit into the bigger scheme culminating in the final Capstone presentation. I was able to implement an executive board presentation that was solid and sound. At this point in my career, I’ve not had the opportunity to present to the FedEx board members. However, when that time comes, I have greater confidence knowing that I possess the skills necessary to execute it flawlessly.

Looking back at what you thought about an online program when you first embarked, what was your overall impression? Did it meet your expectations, via DQ boards, EOP videos, Jack calls, faculty, etc.?

Honestly, there was initial hesitance in my enrollment in this online program. I experienced dissatisfaction with another online distance learning institute and wasn’t sure if JWMI was the right fit. The majority of my daily job tasks consist of team collaboration, but I am an individual contributor. Therefore, while I understand the importance of teamwork, realistically, it doesn’t always apply to my responsibilities. Consequently, it was a tremendous relief that JWMI possessed a realistic curriculum surrounding team participation, with a practical approach that was a perfect fit for my learning style. I was able to apply several of the concepts covered in the weekly discussion questions, videos, live webinars, and other digital content to several work assignments.

What’s been your most rewarding experience in the program?

One of the most significant takeaways was researching, comprehending, and analyzing a business that allowed me to develop viable product enhancements and strategies. In my current role, I’ve been able to identify project inconsistencies and provide data that supports the suggested solutions. It’s been gratifying to apply the skills learned from my MBA program, to aid in the enhanced critical thinking required each day in a professional and personal function. I’ve taken on some leadership responsibilities, that I feel more confident and prepared to handle due to the Jack Welch MBA program.

How did you navigate school, family, and work? What strategies did you implement to get it done?

It was a challenge to navigate family, work, and school. However, having a schedule that I consistently followed, no matter what, was extremely helpful. I selected specific days to complete discussion questions, respond to my classmates, begin my research, and draft my assignments. This process was instrumental in meeting the necessary deadlines. It allowed my family and friends to familiarize themselves with my availability while enabling me to implement a sense of normalcy through a consistent schedule, minimizing the stress.

Please share any advice for new students embarking on the Jack Welch MBA journey.

Set a vision on where you see yourself at the end of your MBA journey. More importantly, commit that you will not allow anything to interfere with that vision. Doing so helps you remain focused on your goal and holds you accountable to finish what you started.

Life challenges will always arise. Unfortunately, I lost my father near the end of my Capstone course. However, I remembered how important education was to him and the goals that I remembered I had set for myself. I knew I had to see it through. It was a challenge. But, completing something that required so much sacrifice and perseverance was one of the most rewarding accomplishments.

Connect with Cherelyn Rodgers on Linkedin

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