Tatiana Morris

At Colorado Heights University I met many wonderful teachers

Tatiana Morris

I graduated from Colorado Heights University in April 2013 with a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), but my story begins many years ago and far away, in Russia.

I was studying Linguistics at Altay State University in Siberia, Russia. My dream was visiting the United States, but, at that time, it was an impossible dream. My family did not have the resources to sponsor my trip to America, so I had to find another way.

I decided to enroll in Cultural Care Au Pair, a student exchange program that gave me the opportunity to spend one year in the United States taking care of the children of an American family.

After many denials, my visa was finally approved in 2005 and I spent one year with a family in Virginia Beach, in Virginia. This is a city on the coast of Atlantic Ocean, with a warm weather, a constant ocean breeze, and green grass year around. In other words, everything I never had in the city where I grew up in Siberia.

That year has been one of the most challenging years in my life. I had to adapt fast to America. I had to understand children, protect myself, work 50 hours a week, drive a car (I have not driven a car before), and be far away from my family. In short, I had to learn how to be an independent, responsible adult. Perhaps because of that, I enjoyed my year in Virginia Beach.

I went back to Russia, but it was not easy. I completed my college studies, but it was too much of a change. I went from warm Virginia to cold Siberia, from smiling and happy people to people with strict faces, from polite and friendly cashiers in the stores of Virginia Beach to grumpy ones in my city, from endless opportunities to limited ones, from freedom and independence to living with my parents again. I have to say it: I was depressed.

But I didn’t have time to be depressed, because I had to pass the final exams in college and complete my studies there. It was a lot of work and I worked very hard.

I returned to the United States three years after my time in Virginia Beach. I came and soon after that I married my husband (I met him in Virginia Beach) in Vail, in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. I knew nobody except my husband. I had not friends, no family, and no job.

In Russia, my job title was Leading International Business Development Manager. Here, I had to start all over again, this time as a mother and a wife. I spent one year in Vail, where I met many wonderful people at Vail Church. Those people surrounded me with love and support.

Then, I got a job as Child Care Coordinator. By coincidence, the job was with the same company that brought me to United States before. After a year in Vail, we had to relocate to Denver to find better employment opportunities. My second job was promotional modeling. I was involved in different promotional projects here and there, promoting energy drinks, mobile connections, beauty products, and, eventually, I was selling airline credit card in Denver International Airport.

Without any doubt, it was not an easy job. I had to meet my sales goals every day in order for me to make money. But I am thankful for that job, because I met many people who I would have never been able to meet otherwise. For example, at the Denver International Airport, I met a former Harvard University student, now the CEO of a company in Canada. He was the first person who suggested to me I should get an education in the United States. He told me I should get a MBA.

Then, reading a local Russian-language newspaper, I came across an ad about Colorado Heights University. I visited CHU. I like the campus and I enjoyed meeting native Russian speakers, who explained to me how college education works in the United States. Without the help I received from the friendly CHU staff, it would have been extremely hard from me to figure out the answers to student loan, credit transfers, and similar questions.

So, I enrolled in the MBA program with emphasis in Corporate Finance. Two years later, I graduated. Those two years went very fast.

At Colorado Heights University I met many wonderful teachers. One of them was the late Dr. Lynn Tomjack. His class was the most comprehensive class I had during those two years. He was really a teacher and a mentor. I could write another story just about how Dr. Tomjack impacted my life. He deeply cared for his students.

How much he cared for his students? Dr. Tomjack helped me and my husband to open our own business, PC Saver LLC. I will always be thankful I met him and that he was my professor.

Another great teacher I had was Dr. Marti Sabo. I have to say I never thought accounting would actually interest me. But Dr. Sabo made this class very interesting, bright, and remarkable. His teaching is one of the most inspiring teachings I have seen in my life. And, of course, I had to mention Jon Wilkerson. Thanks to him for his brilliant presentations about how to present a project. I truly wish we had more time for all the classes I had in CHU.

Currently, I work at McGraw Hill Financial as Research Analyst. I use the knowledge I learned from my professors every day. I know that for most of us, the students of CHU, this education (the education we chose) is our second education. This means it is a time to really learn and not just make our grades look good. I have spent significant time to do my accounting homework, and now I don’t regret it. I did need all that knowledge during my two sets of interviews (each of them lasting two hours) for the job that I hold now.

I want to encourage all students to really learn the most you can during these short years.