Shelia Sirois, an alumna with a bachelor's and master's degree from Granite State College, currently works as General Manager at a restaurant near her hometown of Littleton, New Hampshire. She completed her degrees while working a hectic, full-time job. Since graduating, she has celebrated impressive career success and credits her Granite State College experience.
What's special about Shelia is that she's not only an exceptional manager, but also a leader who inspires her staff, friends, and loved ones to pursue their own educational goals.
Career Advancement through Education
Shelia's career really took off when she started her bachelor's degree program. She was initially promoted to Assistant Manager and then to her current GM position. She graduated with her B.S. in Psychology in 2015 and finished the masters of leadership program in 2018.
Although I majored in psychology and not business, I feel that my education has genuinely helped me obtain this position. I have an increased understanding of people and how to be an effective manager.
Finding Support and Building Connections
During her time at Granite State, Shelia found a community of like-minded faculty, staff, and fellow students who share her enthusiasm for education. In this supportive environment, Shelia thrived.
What I love best about Granite State College is the ease of use for those with busy lives. I often work more than 50 hours a week, while also juggling a part-time job on campus. I have two wonderful stepdaughters and I'm just a busy person in general. I don't think that I would have been so successful in a different college.
Being surrounded by so many people that have a love of education inspired Shelia. She brought this spirit to the workplace, encouraging her staff to prioritize their education.
Our policy at the restaurant is school comes first. I let my high school students off early during finals. I reserve spots for my traditional college students so they have a job to come back to when they're on break.
I've had two of my managers visit the Granite State campus so they could find a program that fits their needs. Most recently, one of my employees visited an open house on my suggestion and applied for a Bachelor's in Psychology program. When I graduated, this employee told me that I was her inspiration and I'm so proud that she decided to do this for herself.
Accolades and Accomplishments
Due to her excellent management skills, Shelia recently received the "Outstanding General Manager" award for operating year 2015. This award is presented to the top 10% of General Managers in her company nationwide and is based on how well their store preformed with sales growth, profits, customer satisfaction, employee retention, and community efforts. Receiving this award is one of the highest honors awarded to GM's in this company!
I was surprised but also felt accomplished and I hope I can keep up the momentum for 2016 and onward.
I fully believe that the education I have received at Granite State College prepared me for this success and with my recent enrollment in grad school, I hope to be able to build the business further and expand my career potential.
As for the future, Shelia is excited to learn even more about management using the skills, concepts, and techniques that she expanded upon in her graduate program, the Master of Science in Leadership.
I feel that it's the perfect program for what I am trying to do with my career at this moment and being able to build upon my base knowledge of people skills will allow me to be a better manager.
Shelia’s advice for current students:
It doesn't matter where you start your journey as long as you invest your time and effort into it. Even an entry level job can one day lead to a fulfilling career.