ACU Online’s MBA in Marketing program attracts students from all walks of life. Many already enjoy successful careers but hope that their graduate degree will take them to the next level. This is certainly the case for MBA-Marketing student Hannah Gramling. A real estate agent by profession, Hannah is intent on gaining her brokerage license and advancing her business skills. ACU Online represents the most accessible path to achieving this lofty goal. Read on for insights into Hannah’s academic journey — and her plans for the future.
Academia and Real Estate: An Inspiring Journey
Hannah grew up in Brownwood, Texas where she decided to remain after graduating from high school. She attended Brownwood’s Howard Payne University — a private Christian institution. Her decision to enroll at Howard Payne was largely influenced by her parents; both worked at the university, so she was able to take advantage of a tuition exchange program.
Hannah spent her undergraduate years on campus, and then she moved into a digital learning environment soon after. While working full-time, she obtained her real estate license and several additional certifications online. Despite this experience, she was initially nervous to begin her graduate education in a digital format. She’d greatly enjoyed her time at Howard Payne, where she loved interacting face-to-face with fellow students. She quickly learned, however, that it’s possible to replicate much of this experience online.
“I had a couple of friends that did their undergraduate at ACU,” says Hannah. “They mentioned that they had online programs. So I got connected with one of the admissions counselors for ACU’s online graduate program. He just really encouraged me. I thought about it and prayed about it and I just felt like this was the right direction.”
Hannah’s instincts led her to ACU Online and a graduate program that gave her the relational aspect of an on-ground campus class with the flexibility of learning on her own time. Nearly every one of Hannah’s ACU courses featured some form of group work, which encouraged her to cultivate strong connections with fellow students. In fact, she now enjoys a very close friendship with another student — all thanks to ACU Online. After discovering that they lived near one another, they “started meeting up regularly to work on homework and…have each other to confide in and encourage each other in the program.”
Hannah loves that online classes allow her to maintain a flexible schedule — an absolute necessity in her field and many others. While she loves attending class in person, it’s just too difficult to arrange for fixed class attendance. Even hybrid online and in-person programs are too much of a commitment. With ACU Online, she’s receiving the rigorous education she desires, but also the convenient scheduling she needs to continue pleasing clients and excelling in her career.
Passion for Faith-Inspired Real Estate
It’s a delight to see somebody so in love with their profession, even when they acknowledge the hard work it takes to succeed. Hannah explains, “I love people so much and just like learning people’s stories and learning what it means to them and where they come from and what they hope for and what their future vision is.”
Hannah feels honored that she is able to accompany people as they make one of the biggest commitments in life. She hopes to make the transition to homeownership easier not only through her expertise but also by providing small personalized touches. For example, when she learned of one client’s concerns about moving a beloved pet cat, Hannah went shopping for an adorable cat bed before meeting the client at the closing table.
Hannah believes that she is successful in real estate not because she is a Christian, but rather, because of her faith. She’s confident that her faith has allowed her to build stronger, more meaningful connections in her community. ACU has played a key role in linking her faith to her work in real estate. She aspires to take both the professional and Biblical lessons she’s learned with her as she embarks on her next adventure.
Upon graduating from ACU Online, Hannah intends to complete her brokerage license. Her graduate degree will take her nearly all of the way there; she simply needs to complete a few specific law and ethics classes, and finally, take the brokerage exam.
Eventually, Hannah hopes to get involved in camp ministry. In her youth, Christian camps played a huge role in her spiritual development — and she hopes to spark the same transformation in younger generations. She’s concerned with several camps’ struggle to tackle the business side of their ventures. She hopes to help these camps obtain a competitive advantage.
In real estate and with camp ministry, faith will surely continue to play a huge role in Hannah’s life.
Inspired by Hannah’s story? A Master of Business Administration degree from ACU Online could be in your future. Learn more about ACU’s MBA program and all available concentrations.
For more information on how ACU Online can help you pursue your career goals and strengthen your faith, contact us at 855.219.7300 or acu.edu/online.