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A New Calling

by Michael Martin

Jun 17, 2019, 9:00 AM.

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Aaron had no career plans. But then a unique program at FIU Online offered new possibilities.

In 2012, Aaron Turner graduated from high school. With no set agenda, he enrolled in a four-year institution. “I was just trying to figure college out,” he said. “I had a hard time taking it seriously.”  In a short while, Aaron’s GPA dropped to a 1.0.

Most of Aaron’s family works in medicine. He felt pressured to follow in their footsteps. “But it wasn’t what I wanted for myself,” he said. “I didn’t know what I wanted out of my education, but I knew forcing myself into medicine would make school that much harder.”

But something needed to change. Aaron soon resolved to suit up and get the grades he needed to pursue a career he enjoys, whatever that was. He had faith that the right career path would reveal itself. For a fresh start, Aaron applied to a community college where he excelled. By the time he earned his associate’s degree in Liberal Arts, he raised his GPA to a whopping 3.97.

Yet Aaron still felt like he needed a specific academic focus that could advance him in unexpected ways. So, he did something few do: he decided to pursue another associate’s degree. But this time, he felt called to public relations and communications. “After bouncing from major to major, I realized it was the best fit for me,” he said.

With graduation nearing, Aaron had to make his next move. While searching out potential degrees, he came across FIU Online’s fully-online Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communications program. “It was just the program I was looking for!”

Although he really enjoyed working with other people, Aaron knew a fully-online program would help him make up for lost time. “Being fully-online, “ he said, “meant I could work while I studied and advance my career at the same time.” Applying in no time, Aaron will begin his new journey at FIU Online this January.

Aaron admits that it’s the uniqueness of the FIU Online degree that he’s excited about, that it feels tailored just for him.  “A lot of schools had more basic communications degrees,” he says, “But nothing as robust as the Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communications program at FIU.”

Aaron will move to Florida in a few months. For now, he’s the key holder for a vibrant gift store in Ohio, where he’s also getting a head start honing his skills in communications and relationship.  

“I am more intentional now when I interact with people. I try to cultivate relationships with customers and gain a better understanding of what they need,” he says. “But I just can’t wait for the real deal.”