2020 graduating employee

By Life@TheU

2020 graduating employee

By Life@TheU

Mery Poynter

What is your current role and department at UM?

I am the manager of operations for the Department of Housing and Residential Life.

What degree will you be receiving this coming graduation? 
Master of Science in Leadership from the Miami Herbert Business School 

How long have you been in service at UM? 
5 years

What were some highlights of your time as a student and employee? 

One of the biggest highlights was the fact that I had the opportunity to interact and learn from individuals in an amazing cohort, a lot of whom are also employees at the University. Had I not taken advantage of this opportunity, I never would have had the pleasure of meeting them and becoming part of such an exceptional group. Learning from the outstanding professors from the Management Department at the Herbert School of Business, particularly Dr. Sheryl Alonso was another highlight. The guest speakers added value and insight into the coursework. Additionally, being on the receiving end of the university’s mission has provided great context for the work that I do at Housing and Residential Life.

What is a favorite UM memory? 
I get to work with a lot of students and one of my favorite things is to watch them graduate.  During commencement, I lead the group of volunteers that work as greeters, and I am fortunate enough to be able to watch many of the students that have impacted my life walk across the stage and receive their diplomas. It is always very emotional for me. In addition, my husband also works for UM, so we support each other when facing challenges. I love those little surprise visits he makes every now and then in the middle of the workday. 

Please share any advice that you might have for employees looking to go back to school.

It is a big step to jump into any master’s program, especially when working full time. Make sure you have the support of your family because they will need to make sacrifices too. There will be times when you will question your decision to go back to school and whether or not you can succeed. However, with the support of those around you, you will make it to the end and when you do, the feeling is fantastic. So, when you are ready to make the commitment, do so with the full understanding that it will not be easy, but then anything worth doing never is. I personally could not have been able to get through these two years successfully without my hubby's support as well as the support of my work colleagues who were always cheering me on.

Learn about other 2020 graduating employees.