Photo of Author Krislyn Johnson in Graduation Cap
by Krislyn Johnson

My career journey was far from traditional. I received a B.S. in Sociology from the University of West Georgia in 2014, and although I was elated to finish my degree, searching for jobs was a challenge. Let’s say my experiences fulfilled the stereotype of starting a career with a liberal arts degree. After working a few odd jobs, I was fortunate enough to join the DAR Talent Management team in December 2017. Prior to working in DAR, I had no clue what Talent Management was. Undoubtedly, after a few short months in my position, I knew this field was where I wanted my career to grow. Furthermore, while working my first career fair to help recruit DAR interns, a UGA Faculty member approached me about their graduate program in Learning, Leadership, and Organizational Development. The timing was perfect, as I was entertaining the idea of obtaining a Masters’ degree. This program was fully online, which awarded me the flexibility I needed to work full time to continue providing for a sustainable life for my daughter.

Juggling work, school, and parenting was far from a walk in the park. There were many late nights and even earlier mornings, times where I wanted to give up because the emotional and mental toll of trying to find balance seemed too much to bear. Despite the challenges, I kept going. Not only was I “mastering” my course work, I had to learn how to master self-discipline while also showing myself grace. I also had the pleasure of taking courses like Leadership Within and Career Development that provided opportunities for introspection and meaningful application of the course materials. Participating in a program that allowed me to grow and develop in my career, as well as personally, made my experience worthwhile. Furthermore, I am forever grateful for the endless support from my family, colleagues, and the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)  that allowed me to attend grad school at NO COST.

As of May 14, 2021, I can proudly say that I am officially a part of the UGA Alumni family, as I received my M. Ed. in Learning, Leadership, and Organizational Development with a graduate certificate in Organizational Coaching (what a mouthful, right?). I look forward to incorporating my knowledge and experience gained into my work here in DAR. Bring on the solicitations! 😊