Shunyale Griffin, '06

Major          Business Administration, AGS

Career       Program Manager for Interns and Co-ops at Tennessee Valley Authority 

Hoping to boost her job into a lifetime career, Shunyale Griffin, ’06, decided to earn her undergraduate degree in business. She wanted to learn in a faith-based environment, and with a full-time job and two children, she selected Bryan’s Adult and Graduate Studies (AGS) program that meets only one day a week.

In Bryan’s undergraduate AGS program, each group of students, or cohort, progresses through the program together.  As an adult non-traditional student, Shunyale found her cohort to be more than just classmates – they became a family. The relationships built between her classmates and professors shaped Shunyale’s AGS experience, and even today she keeps up with her cohort.

“The professors we had were outstanding,” she said. “Each one made us feel like they cared and they made it clear that they were to help us accomplish our goal of graduation. The AGS professors had a genuine interest in our success. They helped bridge the gap into adulthood, building our confidence and self-esteem through the challenges of class projects and presentations.”

When Shunyale looks back over her classes, one professor stands out.

“Bob Andrews – he was not warm and fuzzy, but he gave us the confidence to go into the work force knowing that we could achieve and surpass the challenge of a high standard,” she said. “He didn’t just give us a grade, and even after we finished his class, he continued to push us to excel. I appreciated how tough he was. After he said no one could get an A in his class, I made sure I proved him wrong. When it came time to interview for a new position, my confidence and the skills learned in the AGS program put me in a position to actually compete.”

After completing her undergraduate degree in 2006, Shunyale began to look for an HR position. With no prior experience in human resources and only the experience and confidence she gained at Bryan, she applied at Tennessee Valley Authority. One-hundred-and-twenty-two people applied for the position she earned as human resources recruiter.

“By the time I graduated, I was really ready to promote myself – to brand myself for my future career,” she said.

Since then, she’s been promoted to program manager for co-ops and interns and oversees and manages the intern program for all TVA locations. Now that she’s made career gains, Shunyale is returning to the AGS classroom – this time as an MBA student with a concentration in human resources.

Earning my MBA has always been a personal goal,” she added.

But now, as she labors over long nights of homework, Shunyale won’t be alone. Her husband has started the AGS undergrad program in business.

“Education is so important – not only for career goals, but for personal goals as well,” she said. “Furthering your education shows that you’re motivated and determined. There will be good days and bad days, and sacrifices have to be made, but the end product is so valuable. Your education – that’s yours to keep, and no one can take that away from you.”