Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Michelle Jones: Financial Challeges and Opportunities

Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Michelle Jones: Financial Challeges and Opportunities

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Michelle Jones screamed with excitement when she opened the letter informing her that she had been accepted at Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU). Her parents were graduates of JCSU and Michelle always felt that she wanted to continue the tradition. Michelle is the youngest of three. Michelle's sister, Renee, attended UNC-Chapel Hill after graduating from the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, NC. Her brother attended NC State University after graduating from South Mecklenburg High School. Michelle decided to attend Harding University High School. Even though it was across town, Michelle was attracted by their IB program and their renowned marching band. Clearly, the Jones' children had a mind of their own. They attended three different high schools even though their parents lived in the same house for all of their high school years.

Michelle was an outstanding student in high school. IB Spanish presented a challenge, however, and Michelle thought about abandoning the IB program at one point. Her Principal would not allow her to take the easy way out. He challenged her to stick with IB. He was convinced that obtaining an IB diploma would pay dividends. He was right.

Renee previously completed the IB program at Myers Park High. The Program at Myers Park has the reputation of being the most rigorous IB program in Charlotte. Renee was one of only three minority students to receive the IB diploma her senior year. She received a number of scholarship offers including a full ride to Florida A&M University. Instead, Renee chose to attend UNC-Chapel Hill on a partial scholarship. UNC-Chapel Hill was far enough away that she would be on her own. Nonetheless, she could readily come home whenever she felt the need.

Michelle and Renee maintained an ongoing friendly competition. It was Michelle's goal to outperform her sister when it came to academics. Michelle consistently maintained a higher GPA and class rank. She also had a higher SAT score. This gave her bragging rights. Michelle was determined to receive her IB diploma since her sister had achieved this honor. Once again, she was successful.

Michelle also received numerous scholarship offers, but she had her mind set on attending JCSU. JCSU offered less scholarship money than some of the other schools, but that didn't factor into Michelle's decision. She was fortunate that her parents were willing and able to provide the financial support for her to attend the school of her dreams.

JCSU is a historically black college/university (HBCU) located in Charlotte, NC. Founded in 1867, JCSU has produced countless numbers of educators, corporate executives and small business owners. More recently, it has gained national exposure for its STEM program and its commitment to educate students who are motivated but lack the grade point average and/or SAT score that other institutions require.

Michelle decided to major in Business Administration. When asked to select a concentration, Michelle didn't have a clue. The Chair of the Department of Business Administration explained that she could choose a concentration from the following:

Accounting

Finance

Marketing

Management

Management Information Systems

International Business

Retail Management

Michelle's initial thought was to choose Management as her concentration. She felt this made the most sense given her goal of working her way up the corporate ladder after graduation. She was not knowledgeable about the different concentrations and asked the Chair to provide her with a description of each. What skills would she learn? Which is the most marketable? After considering the information received, Michelle decided that Finance was the "best fit" for her.

Michelle was an outstanding student at JCSU. She was inducted into Delta Mu Delta Honorary Fraternity during her junior year. …

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