Passion for running helps graduate student go the distance.

Currently enrolled in the joint International MBA and Master of Science in Finance degree program, ardent runner Heather Thurston prefers the fast track in all aspects of her life.

“My whole family runs both marathons and shorter races in and around South Florida,” she said. “Even when we’re all running at a different pace . . . it’s how we stay connected.”

Heather Thurston
Heather Thurston

Thurston explains that running takes her to another level mentally.

“When I run, I feel like I’m flying,” she said. “My belief in myself is fueled by my running. I get so much satisfaction from working hard to reach my goals.”

The same can be said of Thurston’s other pursuits, both inside and outside the classroom. When not hitting the books or the pavement, she can be found scuba diving with sharks or using her culinary skills as a former executive chef to prepare delicious meals for her family.

Academically speaking, Thurston arrived at Florida International University (FIU) with a Bachelor of Science degree in international economics earned at the University of Florida.

She chose the College of Business Administration’s joint degree option because she felt the “curriculum was rich enough to allow delving into different courses and career paths.”

Thurston applies same drive to her career pursuits.

“Right now, I’m focused on my job search,” Thurston said. “I’ve spent many hours researching companies to prepare myself for job interviews.”

Her commitment paid off when she attended the recent National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) conference held in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“With guidance from Career Management Services—and unrelenting support from Barry Shiflett, director and Elsie Florido, associate director, I was able to meet with a number of potential employers,” she said. “I interviewed for a financial analyst position with The Walt Disney Company and IBM.”

Clearly, with such discipline and determination at work, her career will soon be off and running.

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