Rod Craft, Organizational Leadership and Transformational Change graduate
I was recently involved in a conversation surrounding Friends University and asked, “So Rod, what is so special about Friends?”. My response, “Friends University is who I am… it is a part of me”? Now this may seem like a vague or an intensely deep but it is truly, how I feel. Friends University is special because it is now a part of my DNA and I am one with it.
Early in my life, college was not a good fit for me. Instead, I found success within Retail Grocery and later in Sales/Marketing. However, despite enjoying a healthy career path, I felt there was a piece missing in my life. For me, that missing element was a college degree. I always found myself avoiding conversations that involved discussing where I had went to school. In a way, I felt embarrassed I had limited myself and created a glass ceiling.
In 2010, I decided to take the leap and further my education. After reviewing multiple universities, I determined Friends was the best fit for me. Not only did the accelerated/nontraditional curriculum fit my busy work schedule but also the beautiful campus, rich history, Christian values, and staff made Friends the perfect choice. Let’s face it, going back to school as an adult in their mid-40’s was intimidating but I was met with open arms and I found folks within Friends that had similar life experiences. My educational journey was challenging (juggling school, family, and a career) but I felt supported by the University every step of the way.
In 2014 I received my BS in Organizational Management and Leadership. On graduation day, I sat with the same Friends family that shared classrooms with me, challenged me, and helped grow me as a person. My experience was truly personal, enlightening, and empowering. I cannot begin to express the personal and professional growth my Falcon experience has afforded me. My professors challenged me and brought out my full potential. The personalized classroom experience at Friends allowed me to open my mind to new and unlimited possibilities I wouldn’t have experienced elsewhere. Because of my degree, I have enjoyed new opportunities within the Monster Energy Company and Coca Cola.
So “What is so special about Friends”? This University has provided more than just a degree; it has allowed me to see the world in a different light. I have grown personally and professionally. More importantly, I have become a part of something bigger than myself. I no longer shy away from conversations surrounding where I went to school, instead, I am proud to say “I am a Friends Falcon!”.