From Jamaica to Jacksonville: A student profile on Simone Muir

Misha Khan

Photo Courtesy of Simone Muir

Hoping for a better education, Simone Muir traveled from Jamaica to the United States with her husband in 2005. What she found during her academic experience is evidently a lot more than just a worthy education.

Before becoming a student at Jacksonville University’s Accelerated MBA program, she attended Middle Tennessee State University for a year and then transferred to the University of North Florida, where she received her undergraduate degree in 2008.

“We came here mainly to pursue a higher education,” Muir said. “After [my husband] finished his masters he got a job with Citibank so we made the decision to move to Florida. We found that JU had a one year MBA program, which no one else had over here.”

Finding it a perfect opportunity, Muir jumped on the chance and she couldn’t be happier about her decision to attend JU. Muir may have been a bit skeptical about the student-teacher ratio at first but soon saw a huge advantage to it.

“One thing I really like is when you speak of accessibility the teachers are willing to help you outside of regular office hours via phone or e-mail,” Muir said with a smile. “Another thing I really like is that the cohort I am in, we are the pioneers of the accelerated program. These people are just so amazing; they work with us together from admissions even. My fellow cohorts, we have developed a sort of relationship which is really helpful.”

Muir was recently awarded the Walter McRae Memorial Leadership Scholarship award, which to her was an honor and something that impacted her profoundly to work harder. She drives approximately 40 minutes to JU everyday and gives her work the attention it deserves. Even though she admits it is indeed a lot of work, her admirable work ethic keeps her going.

“It’s funny because I didn’t know about it,” Muir said. “I guess I was selected by the faculty for the scholarship because they said I work hard and for me it really is a choice that we make to come here, and I think it is creating more discipline in me. For me to be chosen among other equally deserving people, that was a really good thing for me.”

Muir has another reason to take her education determinedly. Back home in Jamaica, she felt something missing in her education. She found her education clearer in the U.S simply because her goal has always been to actually learn the material instead of just by hearing everything.

“The approach I find here is different and I have learned so much more,” she said. “I love Jamaica but you are going to get better educational opportunities here. Also, on a cultural level, my eyes have been opened to much more.”

Originally wanting to become a teacher, Muir changed her plans when she realized she may not be able to devote the same kind of attention to her own four-year old son. She enjoys working with people and hopes to work in human resources in the future.

Muir is a self-motivated, smart young woman whose future plans even include perhaps starting a charity to provide underprivileged children with shoes back home. Her approach towards her studies, her professors, and classmates is surely one to be admired and there is no doubt with a determination like hers, Simone Muir will make something of herself, something big, something successful.