FAU Broward Campuses - Alumni Spotlight

Jaquana Anderson

Monday, May 01, 2023
Jaquana Anderson

Professional Studies | Class of 2023

Jaquana Anderson knows just how important being in touch with your mental health is when it comes to the balancing act of life. In the whirlwind of juggling work, school, family and friends it’s important to remember to make time for yourself. And that’s exactly what she did. But taking a step back didn’t mean falling behind. Instead, it meant taking two steps forward.

With a personality that is larger than life, Jaquana keeps a smile etched on her face that grows when she talks about her family and her future. She radiates happiness and uncharted energy. But this new lease on life comes from a place that was rooted in pain, confusion and distraction. When her world felt heavy after a difficult breakup, she knew it was time to focus on herself and recenter her priorities. Change was inevitable, but she chose to control what she could and grab opportunity with both hands.

She started over – reinventing herself. After years of focusing on the world of education, Jaquana found herself submerged in the retail industry. She started working at Target and quickly developed a thirst for growth and leadership. When she found out she was expecting her first child, she set out to find a way of intertwining her passion for teaching and her skillset for management and leadership. She wanted the best for herself and her growing family.

"The Bachelor of Professional Studies Program made the idea of completing my major achievable,"she said. "No one wants to start over. But they make it so easy to transition your major, transfer your credits and begin to shape your career."

FAU’s Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) program, a highly flexible degree completion program designed to support career advancement with various course options and an emphasis on strengthening high-demand workforce skills in management, leadership, technology, and communication. It offers courses scheduled to fit your busy life with classes offered online or on-campus, day or evening.

That flexibility is really helpful when you are a full-time employee. While finishing her degree, Jaquana works as a store manager for Insomnia Cookies (which location??), a one-of-a-kind sweet treat delivery service. Her promotion came just five short months after her start date, and she is on track for another promotion at the close of her second year as manager. She’s confident in the work that she does and finds herself applying the experience and knowledge she is gaining in her studies while on the job.

"Intercultural communication has been so beneficial,"she said. "Just learning how to communicate better with my clients and employees has taken my professionalism to the next level."

When she isn’t juggling work and school, Jaquana enjoys spending time with her family, who often bond over dinners at different restaurants. She loves trying food from different cultures, going to the beach, traveling and working out at the gym.

Jaquana is on track to graduate in May 2023 and is excited about what her future in leadership (and parenthood) holds.

"FAU gave me a second chance to finish what I started, and I really appreciate that, she said. "I might have done it on my own terms, but I achieved it."

Jaquana has the perfect recipe for success: once you find that magical place where your passion and your purpose collide, you have to run with it. Throw away self-doubt. Stop saying "I can’t"and finish what you started.

"Even if you stop and take a break, you can always go back with a clear headspace and pick up where you left off, or even try something new,"she said.