Fall graduate Terrie Brown enrolled in an NC State online program with every intention to learn, grow and thrive in her career. As a business analyst at Butterball, LLC, mother and NC State alum, Brown felt an online Master of Nutrition was the right fit for her.
“I would say [the program] has been the perfect fit. My studies complemented my work and responsibilities. I felt this allowed me to leverage my studies to hands-on, real situations. As a business analyst, the Professional Science Master’s major leveraged both the business and production sides of my job,” she says.
Brown earned her undergraduate degree in agricultural business operations at NC State, and she was eager to learn more. About eight years into her career with Butterball, with most of her work in feed production and live operations, Brown hoped to expand her knowledge of nutrition. She began by earning her Graduate Certificate in Feed Science in 2019 before pursuing her Master of Nutrition–Professional Science Master degree.
“Starting is probably the hardest part, and I was lucky to be introduced to Associate Professor Adam Fahrenholz who helped me get my foot in the door. I started with my first goal of a graduate certificate,” she says.
Brown feels that the nutrition program is full of supportive faculty like Fahrenholz who helped her along the way.
“I worked with William Neal Reynolds Professor Peter Ferket who helped me lay out my master’s program and projects. His knowledge in both academia and the business has made his guidance and support invaluable,” she explains. “Then for any emergency help or questions, Associate Professor and Director of Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Nutrition Suzie Goodell and Administrative Support Specialist for Nutrition Pamela Van Emden have been the best support. They’re always responsive and positive.”
Through an online program, Brown was able to find accommodations to complete her degree while juggling other responsibilities.
“As a career mom, the distance PSM program has worked well for me. The flexibility allowed me to schedule school at my pace and around work and family,” she says.
Brown encourages others to enroll in an online program, even if they feel it’s not attainable. She stresses the importance of taking advantage of opportunities and broadening your horizons.
“I would say it opened me up to the industry. Otherwise at work, I was mostly focusing on the business. My goal is to advance in my career, and I feel that doing so requires you to understand outside influences,” she says.
“The opportunities that I found at NC State have made it possible to obtain a master’s degree which I once thought would no longer be within my reach. I now feel more valuable as an employee and a person.”
Looking back on her experience, Brown is grateful that she took the opportunity. Now more well-rounded than ever, she feels ready to take on the future.
“I already see professional development within myself and feel I am more of an asset for company projects due to my broad knowledge of feed, nutrition and business,” she says. “I definitely encourage the online program because I’m not sure how else I would have been able to acquire what I have without it.”