Kelly Parker ’05 currently serves Olivet College as the associate director of graduate business programs, providing support to the college’s Master of Business Administration in Insurance program in a multitude of ways. She loves the opportunity to contribute to students’ success every day. Kelly joined the Olivet College staff in 2011 as an administrative assistant for the insurance and risk management program, but has been a member of the OC family for much longer, earning a degree in visual arts education in 2005. Recently, Kelly completed her master’s degree in online training and development, following her will to be a lifelong learner, while also better preparing herself to serve other working professionals seeking to advance their education.
Why do you love Olivet College?
I love the close relationships we build at OC, the close-knit community that we have, and, especially, working with students to complete their educational goals.
Why did you choose to pursue a degree in online training and development?
I chose online training and development as my master’s degree program because I felt it would be an asset in my position with OC. It is a great accomplishment for me, as I am a first generation college graduate and the only one in my family to receive a degree. I have worked for more than 25 years to complete my education. I love learning and will continue to further my education as long as I am able.
What motivates you to serve online students?
My passion for supporting students stems from my own love for learning! I have been attending college on and off as I could afford to take classes over many years, and my love for learning has helped me fuel that passion for helping others attain their educational goals.
I think that many students are faced with having to juggle work, family and college, but offering classes online helps alleviate many obstacles for students that cannot get to campus for a class. We have students from all over the U.S. taking our classes and this makes our program culturally diverse in many ways.
I think with the technology that we have, we may not physically be able to interact with our online students, but we have many other ways we can interact with them that supports the Olivet College Compact. Email, text, online classrooms with video, and phone conversations all contribute to the interaction we have with our students. I think my motivation to serve online students stems from taking classes online when I was juggling all of the same things they are – I understand trying to fit it all in as a student myself!
What’s the average day in your role, or some of the unique things you are responsible for?
I think the most unique part of my role for the MBA in Insurance program is that I am the associate director but I also recruit students to the program. This makes my job unique in several ways. I am the first person prospective students meet or talk to at events or on the phone concerning the program. This means I work with them to meet their educational goals, speak about issues in insurance, and share the great things about OC and the program.
Why do you encourage students to consider OC’s MBA in Insurance?
I encourage students to consider OC’s MBA in Insurance because I feel it is the best way for them to further their educational goals. Our program is unique in ways that other college master’s programs are not, and this gives us an advantage over others. Our program uses a face-to-face classroom setting allowing students to interact with the instructor and their peers, building relationships that extend beyond graduation.
What do you look forward to in your role?
I look forward to the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) Conferment every year in September or October. I get to travel and speak to many people about OC and the program, helping to further education to many students.
What advice do you share with students?
The best advice I can give students is to stay in school or go back to school and get the degree you want – find your niche. Continuing to learn and realizing your potential is what education is all about. College is hard work; it requires dedication to your goals with lots of time to explore who you are and what you want to do with the rest of your life. Take advantage of it now!
What is an interesting or little known fact about yourself?
I am a practicing artist working in insurance!