A Balancing Act: Graduate Studies and Varsity Cheerleader

A Balancing Act: Graduate Studies and Varsity Cheerleader

As a Sequential Undergraduate/Graduate Studies* (SUGS) student and cheerleader for the football and basketball teams, time management is always a concern for Hallie Byles as she completes her master’s degree. 

The Rockville, Maryland native pondered an MBA as she finished her undergraduate degree but ultimately decided to pursue a Masters in Manufacturing, as the program was the perfect mesh of engineering and business courses as she continued her education.

The seeds of manufacturing were planted early for Byles after an internship with Fiat Chrysler, where she immediately fell in love with manufacturing, cementing her educational and professional career path.”I was drawn to the fast-paced environment, and the idea of being challenged every day to make a system run more optimally and without hitches was appealing to me. Additionally, being able to work hands-on with the products being produced gave me the gratification that I was making a tangible difference.”

Her coursework, though difficult, has been rewarding, as the topics covered are applicable to her career going forward and her graduate work is the bridge between university life and a professional career. “The ISD’s Master of Engineering in Manufacturing degree is perfect for someone who wants to go directly into a manufacturing role and get a broad education on the manufacturing realm in general.”

She has great pride in the harmony she has achieved between classwork, cheer duties, and a social life.”I’m most proud of the balance that I’ve been able to achieve,” said Byles. “It’s easy to get wrapped up in one particular pillar of life, whether it be school, or social life, etc. I’ve been fortunate to have a good support system that helped me maintain that balance throughout college so that I could enjoy all the aspects that college and the university had to offer.”

*The SUGS program was developed to promote greater enrollment of qualified College of Engineering students by making it possible for students to pursue a five-year combined B.S.E./M.S.E, B.S.E./M.S.