Putting Herself First
“No woman should have to choose between a career, an education, children, and your married life. You have to value yourself first.”

Student of the Month: Miranda M.

Miranda M. wears many hats. She’s a student, an employee, an immigrant, a wife, a mom, and a stepmom… but she doesn’t let any one of these roles define her. Miranda gives 100 percent to everything she does. She’s not just a mom — she’s an all-around badass.

Along with raising a child and caring for her family, Miranda has won nine Best in Class Awards in the five years she’s been with her company, and she’s a straight-A student working on a bachelor’s degree. Her accomplishments haven’t come easy, though. An immigrant from the Philippines, Miranda moved to Utah in 2014 and had to adjust to a brand-new life.

“It’s not usual to see brown people here, and there’s not really a lot of Filipinos here, so I didn’t really have a circle of friends,” she recounted. “I had never driven a car, but I had to start driving. I was really, really scared.”

Not long after she learned how to drive, Miranda got into a car accident. Even though the other driver was at fault, the accident overwhelmed Miranda. “Emotionally, I gave up,” she said, “but no one knew about it.”

Miranda knew that if she told her family in the Philippines how difficult her transition to the U.S. had been, they would ask her to come home. Never one to quit a difficult task, though, Miranda decided to speak to a therapist about her situation.

“That one-hour conversation — it helped a lot,” Miranda reflected. “I was told that our brain functions like a filter. Everything that’s going on right now, it would seem like after a day you’re okay, but your brain is still filtering it. So it takes time. As long as you try to overcome it, you can do it, but don’t expect that you can do it in one snap. You just have to wait.”

Once Miranda learned to be patient with herself, she started settling into her new life. She had a career in the Philippines and aspired to have one in the U.S., too. Miranda found a job with a schedule that worked for her and her family, and since starting her new role, she has been offered promotions, leadership roles, and opportunities to learn new skills.

In 2019, Miranda took advantage of her company’s education benefits through Guild Education and started a bachelor’s degree program. She wanted to earn a degree in the U.S. to prove herself as a leader.

“Being an immigrant, even though you know you are good, you will still ask questions of yourself,” she said. “Are you really good? How sure are you that people are going to follow you when you are not born here in the United States? There are some people that you can only gain their respect when they know that you have the credentials.”

As a subject matter expert in her company’s digital servicing department, Miranda chose to study computer and network security. She knew dedicating time and effort to school would be difficult with all of her other responsibilities already in place, but she has adopted a mindset that helps her give her full attention to every task.

“I look at my role as when I am working, I am an employee. When I am studying, I am a student. When my kid gets home, I am a mom,” she explained. For Miranda, it’s important that she’s completely present in whatever role she’s playing. “I won’t say, ‘I can’t go to work because I have to do this for my kid.’ I signed up to be a mom. I signed up to be a wife, a student, an employee. So it’s my responsibility.”

Being a mother isn’t stopping Miranda from pursuing her goals. She notes that while some moms feel they’re too busy to work or go to school, Miranda believes women should empower themselves to be the best they can be.

“We women have more power than we know,” Miranda said. “I think that as long as women are educated about the real powers they have, we will have a better world.”

Miranda’s advice for other moms? You don’t have to put your life on hold when you have kids.

“No woman should have to choose between a career, an education, children, and your married life,” Miranda said. “You have to value yourself first. The more you are humble, the more you are willing to commit mistakes and learn from it, the more you gain.”

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My Why
I'm doing this:to prove I'm qualified to lead.
Written by Guild Education