Michelle McMurray Remains in USC Family With Return to Higher Education

Michelle McMurray is not afraid to take on more than one challenge at once.

While pregnant with her second child, she enrolled in the online Master of Business Administration program at the University of South Carolina Aiken (UofSC Aiken) and graduated in December 2020.

“I was crazy,” she said. “My husband, John, has been great and also motivated me to do it. It was something that I needed to do. I am too motivated to not have the education to back up my intelligence.

“I started the MBA program in August 2018 and had a baby that year on November 19. I took off one class when I had her and another afterwards.”

McMurray was already familiar with UofSC Aiken when she enrolled in the program. She is the director of gift and record services for the University of South Carolina and had extra on her plate, working on a database conversion this year.

“I know a little bit more than most people about the program because I work with all of the university campuses,” she said.

“I did my research. I looked at other schools, but this one fit me the best. I like the scheduling. Other than tests, there was nothing that I had to have done immediately.”

The flexibility of the online format was crucial for McMurray to balance school, work and time with her husband and children, Jordan Little (6) and Tindall McMurray (2).

“I wasn’t going to try without doing it online,” she said. “My kids were also motivation for me to go back to school — I wanted to do it for them. For my son to see me finish something like that is big. We compared grades, and he got excited.”

Totally Worth It

McMurray is from Chapin, South Carolina, and has spent her career working in finance and with nonprofit organizations.

“I have always been a numbers person,” she said. “I worked in banking for 16 years. I did some leasing work, too, but I haven’t worked outside of numbers the whole time.”

After earning an associate degree in marketing from Midlands Technical College, McMurray graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business from Southern Wesleyan University in 2006.

She worked for the South Carolina State Federal Credit Union for nine years and started at USC as a gift accounting manager in 2015. She has been in her current role for three years.

“My staff and I process the donations that come in from all around the university — that’s what I do all day,” she said. “So, Financial Analysis for Decision Making [FINA A718] was my favorite course in the MBA program.”

McMurray enjoyed expanding her business acumen throughout the curriculum, but she especially liked working with her online classmates.

“I met a lot of great people in my groups along the way,” she said. “We were diverse. That’s what I also like about this program — you don’t have to be a business major to be in it.

“I had groups with engineers and people from other fields. One of my groups is planning on meeting each other in person after COVID-19.”

The faculty and staff at UofSC Aiken made the process of earning a degree smoother for McMurray by accommodating her when life situations arose.

“With two young children, you never know what’s going to come up with sicknesses or other things,” she said. “They work with you because you are a working adult. I like a lot of the professors who taught my classes, and I have referred six students to the program, including one of my co-workers.”

Summed Up

McMurray is the first person in her immediate family to earn a college degree. She plans to continue helping others in some capacity for the rest of her career.

“I had been looking forward to having this degree,” she said. “I am not necessarily looking to move from the university, but if the opportunity is there and it’s something I love, I would look into it.

“I love the fact that what I do goes to scholarships for students and helps people. As long as I am doing something where I am helping people, I am happy.”

McMurray, who also enjoys bowling and boating, had support from her family and friends during her time in the online MBA program.

“Everybody is super excited for me,” she said. “My parents are so proud of me — they can’t tell me that enough. I received great value out of the program at UofSC Aiken.”

With everything that McMurray had going on in her life, she believes earning a degree online is manageable for most anybody.

“With the functionality of this online program, you can do it with any type of schedule,” she said. “Even if you have kids, it is doable. I had a 3.85 GPA. There’s no reason not to do it.

“A lot of people are going to turn more to online as a result of COVID-19. The value is there, because you learn so much more than the monetary value of these classes.”

Learn more about UofSC Aiken’s online MBA program.

Related Articles

Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.

Our Commitment to Content Publishing Accuracy

Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only. The nature of the information in all of the articles is intended to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered.

The information contained within this site has been sourced and presented with reasonable care. If there are errors, please contact us by completing the form below.

Timeliness: Note that most articles published on this website remain on the website indefinitely. Only those articles that have been published within the most recent months may be considered timely. We do not remove articles regardless of the date of publication, as many, but not all, of our earlier articles may still have important relevance to some of our visitors. Use appropriate caution in acting on the information of any article.

Report inaccurate article content: