Kathleen Murray ’16 places high value on the real world experiences she accrued early in her career, all of which concluded with her recent graduate certificate in emergency management.
Twenty-three years into Kathleen Murray’s career in emergency management, the hard-earned miles of experience have marked her path to success.
Having worked as an emergency planning coordinator for National Grid since 2009, and having completed her Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management this year, Murray credits her time at Adelphi with further informing her knowledge of the field.
“By going for my graduate certificate, it just opened up my world and my mind to the other aspects of it,” she said. She now looks at those other aspects of her work from the perspective of the counties and agencies she deals with rather than viewing them from her own vantage point.
Murray struggled working full time and coming back to school as a nontraditional adult student her first semester, traveling most weeks from Island Park, Long Island, to Massachusetts for work. With the support of her professors and classmates, however, she was able to make it through both her full-time job and her course work.
“My two professors that semester stood by me,” Murray said. “They assured me, ‘Take a deep breath, and don’t quit yet.’ Everything worked out at work, and I was able to manage and catch up.”
As an older student transitioning back to the college setting, Murray considers the support of her professors and classmates as important to her success. It is exactly those kinds of relationships that Murray deems instrumental for any new college graduate to pursue when entering the workforce.
Murray places high value on the real-world experiences she accrued early in her career. And those include both the good and the bad, encompassing natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, which had a profound impact on her interest in and passion for emergency management after the storm destroyed her Long Beach home.
“Life presents a lot of challenges and, when you live through them and learn from the experience, it helps you with your studies and sensibility,” she said.
Finding that balance between her desires and talents was key to her academic and professional success, even if for her it came later in life than for some.
“You have to find a job,” she said. “It’s up to you to get the job done, but if it’s not what you want to do, don’t force it, you can always go back later in life. You’ll get there, it’s just that everyone has their own pace.”
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