Marina's Story

Support students like Marina!
Marina Cvetkovic

Name: Marina Cvetkovic
College: College of Graduate Studies and Research
Major: Master of Business Administration (MBA) Candidate
Hometown: Vranje, Serbia

Why Radford? 
The Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at Radford University has the unique combination of small class sizes that allow professors to really get to know us, modern classrooms equipped with the latest technology to provide innovative learning experiences, and most importantly, dedicated and inspiring faculty who are changing our lives by believing in us more than we believe in ourselves.

What is your favorite Radford University memory?
My entire graduate school journey has been a special chapter in my life. The friends and professors I have met truly became my second family. The highlight of my Radford University experience was unquestionably the opportunity to work on an independent project with the support of Gary Schirr and Tal Zarankin. They believed in my team members and I, empowered us and supported us through our research and work so that we could finalize our innovative idea and create a potential business.

Who is your favorite professor?
Too many to name only one! I will never forget Helen Roybark’s enthusiasm and passion for her students’ success, which helped me build my confidence when I entered the program. Other transformative opportunities I’ve experienced with faculty include my first SAS experience with Abhay Kaushik; the marketing simulation with Carol Bienstock; a 50-page academic paper with Hooshang Beheshti; ideation sessions with Gary Schirr; supportive communication exercises with Tal Zarankin; my first podcast for Daniel Farhat; a very warm welcome to the world of SQL code from Angela Stanton; digging deep into predictive analytics with Wil Stanton; and strategic case analysis with Jerry Kopf.

How have you financed your education?
I was very fortunate to receive a graduate teaching assistantship for all four semesters of the MBA program. The tuition award covered my tuition bill, and the stipend was a huge help with covering additional expenses like books, articles and certifications. Without this financial support, I’m not sure how I would have covered all of my academic expenses (especially being a mother with limited time for an additional job), and I may not have been able to complete the program.

How has donor support helped you as a student?
Education is crucial, and scholarships, or in my case assistantships, are an enormous part of paying for higher education. Without that support, many students like me would not have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams. Thanks to the generosity of donors, I was able to commit to studying and furthering myself without additional worries. The options that are now open to me are numerous, and I have the confidence, skills and motivation to succeed in my future career and provide a better life for my family.

Do you have a message for donors and prospective donors?
I am honored to be one of the recipients of a Radford University graduate teaching assistantship. This support has lightened my financial burden and allowed me to focus more on the most important aspect of school: learning. Your generosity has inspired me to “pay it forward” and I hope one day I will be able to help someone and make a difference in their life as you did in mine. Thank you!