Sara Abbott will represent the Rawls College of Business as the banner bearer for the Spring 2016 Commencement on Saturday, May 21. Abbott is graduating Summa Cum Laude with a degree in management. After graduation, she is pursuing a law degree from the Texas Tech University School of Law.
Abbott, who is from Seminole, Texas, took a nontraditional route to obtain her degree. Having not attended high school, immediately working for her mother's restaurant, and starting a family with her husband and two children, she delayed going to school. It wasn't until working at a law office in Seminole for five years that she realized a solid education was her path to a successful future.
"I enjoyed the work and was intrigued by everything I was doing. I knew that was the environment where I wanted to be. I was 25 at the time when I talked to my husband and my boss about the prospects of going to school, and they gave me their full support," she said. "I came into it with the mindset of taking it one class at a time."
While earning her degree, in which she was funded as a Terry Foundation Scholarship recipient, she still helped her mother's restaurant with bookkeeping. The lessons learned at the Rawls College helped her in this role, and she was able to apply the fundamental principles to real-world scenarios.
"I started doing all the paperwork for the restaurant in 2008, but didn't enroll in school until 2009. I had to learn as I went. Nobody trained me on what to do, but many of my classes at Rawls were beneficial. I've been able to go back and apply what I learn to the restaurant. Even if it's something small, I can use the same lessons in a practical manner," Abbott said.
When reflecting upon her time at Rawls and the steps taken to earn her degree, Abbott offered advice to current and prospective business students.
"I think, no matter what, you need to just keep going and pursue your dreams. Even if it's one day at a time, or one hour at a time, don't stop. I was told by somebody that even if you can't make big steps, baby steps will eventually take you there. Not every day is going to be great, but if you keep working hard and persevering, you'll reach your goals."
Spring 2016 Commencement for the Rawls College of Business begins Saturday at 1:30 p.m.This supports the efforts outlined in the Rawls College of Business Strategic Plan. Learn more about the LEADER 2020 Strategic Plan and follow our progress on Twitter at #RawlsLeads.