Loyola University Chicago

Success Stories

Vannessa Brown

PHOTO: Natalie BattagliaVannessa Brown worked for several years before coming to Loyola to earn her degree. “Had I not moved forward with my education,” she says, “I may not have received many of the opportunities afforded to me today.”

School of Continuing and Professional Studies 

Vannessa Brown

Major: Management, Class of 2012
Job: Vice president of business operations at GForce Staffing Services

Returning to school had been a lifelong dream for Vannessa Brown.

Over the years, she researched and met with admissions counselors at other universities, but none of the schools felt like home. And then she found Loyola. “The counselor was extremely friendly, caring, and engaging,” Brown said, “and made me feel as if I belonged at Loyola.”

Here, she talks about going back to school, how her Loyola education prepared her for work, and why—no matter what obstacles you face—you should always move forward.

Tell us about your job and what you do.
As a partner of GForce, my primary responsibility is spearheading all initiatives around attracting top-talent for our clients. I have developed a business model that increases the likelihood of our candidates being hired by our clients as full-time employees.

How did Loyola prepare you for your job?
Loyola’s real-world education and transferrable skills are embedded in every fiber of my role at GForce. All of the courses in my program provided a framework from which to build and utilize in my current role. They are all essential components for building and expanding any business.

How did coming back to school change your life?
Initially, when I went back to school it was to fulfill a lifelong dream. Now I realize the purpose is less about me and more about others; helping others up and giving back in any way I can. Had I not moved forward with my education and experienced firsthand the outcomes of obtaining an undergraduate degree, I may not have received many of the opportunities afforded to me today.

Do you have any helpful tips on how to juggle work, family, and school?
I’ll say just one thing: Move forward and you’ll be surprised with what you can accomplish. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to your teachers or faculty for assistance. Lastly, keep your employer informed of your accomplishments; when supervisors or managers feel they have contributed to your success, they are usually willing to be even more flexible with work hours.

And, finally, any words of advice for prospective students?
Loyola’s professors are believers—they believe in your abilities and your dreams. So much so that they make you believe you can accomplish anything. You don’t need to have everything aligned perfectly before you start something new. Just move forward. Just keep moving forward.