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Carolyn Hriso

Caroline Hriso

Carolyn Hriso, ’94, knows firsthand the challenges that come with pursuing a college degree as an adult. But she also knows the payoffs – in her case, the opportunity to head up three real estate firms in two states, earn a graduate degree, and become a business coach.

When Carolyn made the decision to attend Meredith, she did so with the support of her employer, who provided tuition assistance and allowed her to take classes during work hours if she made up the time. Still, as a single working mother of three, taking on a significant undertaking like pursuing her degree was no small task. Carolyn said her ability to focus enabled her to succeed.

“Having so much responsibility on my plate, I had to compartmentalize and handle the task at hand without distraction.”

Though Carolyn found that life as a student was definitely different, she also noted that her children seemed to like seeing her study – and they were excellent students themselves throughout their school and college careers.

According to Carolyn, earning her degrees in business and communication at Meredith helped her become stronger and grow personally and professionally.

“I have always been recognized as a leader and Meredith gave me the confidence to believe in myself and to willingly put myself in the way of positions of leadership,” she said.

Now Carolyn coaches people on how to be successful in real estate and tutors those who are working toward earning their licenses. She said Meredith helped her gain the confidence to recreate herself in different roles – including a new one on the horizon. She and her husband plan to open a real estate firm in Cary, N.C., this year.

And to those who are considering attending Meredith as adults, Carolyn had this to say:

“Do it! Do not postpone this gift of education to yourself. I treated school as another important responsibility and scheduled daily time for it. I wish I had treated myself to this great adventure earlier in my life.”