Pamela Raymond has been dedicated to broadening her knowledge and acquiring new skills throughout her career. 

Her fervor for learning and seeking out fresh challenges has yielded success at organizations across three states and several industries, including retail, manufacturing, and information technology. It’s also what eventually led her to HBS Online—an experience that she saw as a way to build on her professional background and pave the way to new and exciting opportunities.

A Career Spanning Three States

Raymond, who currently lives in North Carolina and works as a communications specialist and IT project manager at AT&T via Apex Systems, started her professional journey in the retail industry in New Orleans.

She then moved to St. Louis, where she transitioned to a sales and marketing role at a manufacturing company. By the conclusion of her nine-year tenure, she had served as the brand manager for two product lines, and decided it was time to branch out.

For the next eight years, she managed her own public relations and marketing firm, overseeing budgets of up to $1 million and events with thousands of attendees. Along the way, she earned her MBA, and found herself yet again seeking out a new challenge.

Her next move brought her to North Carolina, where she got a part-time job at NC State University after a brief stint doing freelance work. It was a role that Raymond says some may have seen as a step back, but it helped open doors in her new area.

“I’m good at seeing past what’s right in front of me,” she says. “I can kind of see what the future might be if I take a certain option. In the short-term, someone might think, ‘That was an odd choice to make.’ But I’m looking further down the road.”

Several months later, she accepted the opportunity to serve as marketing director for a private firm, and went on to land a position at AT&T, where she’s been for nearly three years.

Deciding to Enroll in CORe

Having already earned her MBA, Raymond started looking into doctoral programs in marketing to expand her knowledge, but wasn’t sure it was the right choice to make.

She began researching certificate programs, and found Harvard Business School Online in 2018. She decided to enroll in our Credential of Readiness (CORe) program, as a way to build on her master’s degree and get reacquainted with vital business concepts.

“I know that things do change, and I just wanted to brush up and reinforce that information,” Raymond says. “I also knew I was probably going to learn something new.”

At the time, she was considering several avenues for her career. To her, CORe was a program that could provide universal, transferable skills, and be completed anywhere.

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“I was thinking about changing industries and possibly relocating,” Raymond says. “This was an opportunity where—if I did relocate—I wouldn’t have to discontinue classes, because it’s online.”

For Raymond, taking CORe was just like any other program involving rigorous, academic coursework. It required a high level of commitment to get through it.

“You’re really challenged to learn the material and be able to use it in a working manner,” Raymond says.

She adds that the course was an eye-opener into what she did know—as well as what she didn’t—and the lessons she learned were readily applicable in the workplace.

“Once you get through it, you feel extremely accomplished,” Raymond says. “You start understanding that you do use this every day. It informs how you make decisions, and how you talk to people and talk about projects.”

Elevating Her Career

After earning her credential, Raymond wrote an email to her supervisor, noting that she’d finished the course—along with a scrum master certification program—and felt prepared to take on more responsibility and projects.

A few weeks later, she earned both a promotion and a raise.

She calls CORe a “game changer,” because it gave her the ability to know her value and seek out greater opportunities.

“It gave me the confidence to say, ‘This is what I want,’” she says. “And to be able to articulate it and back it up. I can prove what I can offer.”

Moving Forward with a Greater Sense of Confidence

The sense of confidence instilled by CORe hasn’t been limited to her professional life. Raymond says the program has reaped tremendous personal benefits as well.

Pamela Raymond_Headshot

“It’s so transformative—it really weaves its way through your life,” she says. “I read things differently. I read different types of articles that I may not have read prior to this. That opens up a whole new level of conversation that I can articulate to other people. In that sense, it holistically makes me feel more empowered.”

Looking ahead, Raymond plans to continue driving her career forward. She hopes to land a leadership role in the coming years, in which she can continue to build on her management background and influence company direction and branding.

She sees her HBS Online experience as a key part of that journey. One that can continue to open doors and help her reach her goals.

Interested in finding out what HBS Online can do for you? Explore how our courses can help you learn new skills and accelerate your career.

Matt Gavin

About the Author

Matt Gavin is a member of the marketing team at Harvard Business School Online. Prior to returning to his home state of Massachusetts and joining HBS Online, he lived in North Carolina, where he held roles in content writing and social media. He has a background in video production, and previously worked on several documentary films for Boston’s PBS station, WGBH. In his spare time, he enjoys running, cycling, exploring New England, and spending time with his family.