'PBA CHANGED MY LIFE,' MANAGEMENT GRAD SAYS
For newly-minted Palm Beach Atlantic University graduate Emily Freeman, life after graduation has a familiar ring.
Freeman is settling into a new job as admissions counselor at PBA, where less than a month ago she graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in business management and minor in ministry.
At the University's May 5 spring commencement ceremony, the Miami native was recognized as the outstanding graduate in the Rinker School of Business for academic achievements during the four-year journey, which earned her a perfect 4.0 GPA.
On Tuesday, Freeman talked enthusiastically about her new role on the PBA Admissions team which involves helping to recruit students for the upcoming fall semester and providing assistance to get them prepared for classes in August.
“It’s been exciting. I love it,” said Freeman, of the transition from student to employee. “Everyone has been so supportive and helpful… They want to see me thrive and succeed in this role.”
Landing a job at PBA where she’s “grown so much” personally, spiritually and academically, was God’s way of “perfectly” matching her degree skills with her desire to help others while continuing to learn, Freeman said.
Being hired by her alma mater also meant she’d get to spend more time within an organization that shared her values and exuded a family atmosphere. She was also hoping to stay in Palm Beach County, an area she’s fallen in love during her studies in West Palm Beach. .
Freeman recalled how willing her professors were to offer guidance and assistance both inside and outside of classes and how appreciative she was for the support she's received from the PBA community overall.
“PBA really changed my life. It was amazing,” she said.
While at PBA, Freeman was a member of Sigma Beta Delta, a national Business Honor Society and also participated in the President’s Lyceum, a prestigious speaker series where students engaged in discussions with distinguished guests.
During her freshman and sophomore years she worked as a Workship (community service) leader and also as a discipleship assistant in Oceanview Residence Hall, spearheading programming and leading Bible studies.
“Emily is an exceptional talent, and we have been blessed to have her,” said Rinker School Dean Leslie D. Turner, of a faculty member's comments about Freeman during an Honors Chapel recognition ceremony before graduation. “She represents everything we hope to see in our graduates -- not only best in class academically, but an outstanding Christian leader with a sincere heart and commitment for others.”
Away from campus, Freeman also generously gave of her time to serve others and completed many more community servicehours than were required of PBA students. She served in a variety of roles at local churches, nonprofits and Christian ministries.
“Before coming to PBA I did not understand what it meant to fully surrender to God,” Freeman said of her spiritual growth. “Now I realize that it is something I must do every day. I’ve learned that trusting God is critical to my joy, peace and hope.”
For now Freeman said she's happily focusing on her new job and all the learning opportunities it will bring. Already she's finding that her previous homeschooling background is giving her a unique perspective to relate to students who are now considering pursuing an education away from home. Her familiarity with the PBA campus community is also a key asset.
"It's been really neat to pull on my own experiences" to help others, Freeman said.