Bekah Degnan, a senior and exercise science major at the University of Louisville, is a package handler and co-chair for the Comprehensive Health and Safety Process (CHSP) committee at UPS Worldport.
Prior to majoring in exercise science, Bekah envisioned a career in ballet performance and had already completed a full year of coursework in the program. However, Bekah experienced injuries along the way and settled on a new career path.
“I enjoyed the process of learning about my injury, methods to fix it, and the more in-depth muscular anatomy. I decided to move back to my hometown and get a degree in exercise science,” Bekah said.
This spring, Bekah received a nomination for the 2021 Outstanding Metropolitan College Student Award, an award that recognizes students who demonstrate outstanding leadership, work-life balance, and academic success.
After graduation, Bekah intends to become a cardiovascular therapist and has been in contact with a few hospitals and clinics to discuss job shadowing opportunities.
Learn more about Bekah Degnan in this Metropolitan College Spotlight Q&A Interview and Video
Video produced by Renecia Griffie Davis, a Metropolitan College staff member.
Music in this video:
Song Artist: Scott Holmes Music
Song Title: Aspire
What inspired you to participate in the MC program?I decided to participate in the Metropolitan College
program because I believe that it will be able to help me in the long-term by having my tuition paid for and not having student loans. It helps give job security and many opportunities to move up in the company and gain valuable real-world experience. MC program allows for strict time management and daily use of people skills.
What has been your biggest challenge as a MC participant and how did you overcome this challenge?
My biggest challenge has been adjusting to working nights. I was a very active morning person and had to change my thinking about what was my daytime versus what was my new nighttime. This still is occasionally a struggle when we have extra assignments to turn in or finding extra time to study for exams. However, one of the best ways I have overcome this is to keep the same schedule on the weekends. I was originally trying to shift my body to be awake for full days on the weekends and then sleep at night. I quickly realized that it is very helpful to always try to go to bed at a similar time during the weekends.
What motivates and drives you to succeed while pursuing your educational goals?
I stay motivated by trying to focus more on the future and not the here and now. I am very excited to get into my career field and know that I will be able to help people heal during a difficult time. I will be able to be a bright spot in my patients’ days and watch them as they continue to heal.
How has working at UPS contributed to your personal and professional growth?
I was voted in as the co-chair of our health and safety committee at UPS. In this role, I help to keep our employees and the building safe, and mentor new hires. With my plans of going into a healthcare field, I feel that this job has and will continue to benefit my mental capacity for the overall health of the body and trying to help and improve the safety tips using my knowledge of anatomy. I am co-chair which means that I am also in charge of the committee with some assistance from my backup. I have to be sure that I am always thinking ahead and am a clear communicator with all of my committee members.
What person(s) has been the biggest influence in your life and why?
As cliché as it sounds, my oldest brother has been one of the biggest influences in my life. Growing up, we had a slight sibling’s rivalry of picking on each other, comparing our hot wheels cars, and racing each other in bike races (which I never won). Even through all the crazy and everything that life threw at us as a family or as an individual, I knew that I could always count on him to be a safe place and to slow me down when I started to let my anxiety get the best of me. I can always be transparent with him. He is a natural born leader and always seeks to gain knowledge and be a help to others around him. I admire his quiet nature and listening ear (goodness knows, I did not get the quietness trait), gentleness, and joy that he has shared with me. I am thankful for his goals and his constant love of his crazy younger sister.
What advice do you have for students interested in the MC program?
My best advice would be to make a list of your priorities and keep an updated calendar/schedule. I like to make a to-do list and keep it updated with what I need to get done the day before I go to sleep so I know that when I do go to sleep, I can rest easier knowing that I have accomplished what I needed to without thinking about everything I have to try to rush doing after I get up.
What is an interesting or fun fact about yourself?
I trained my dog fully on my own and used to compete in dog shows through 4-H. Our last year we were Overall Champions in Agility and Obedience.
We are proud of our current students and alumni and their incredible accomplishments! The MC Spotlight is a way for us to highlight the amazing things our current students and alumni are doing. As you read their stories, you will learn how their Metropolitan College experiences helped to shape their futures and influence their careers.
We are always on the lookout for inspiring MC Spotlight stories. If you or someone you know is interested in sharing a story with us, contact us at email@example.com.
Note: At Metropolitan College, we consider our alumni anyone who has ever completed coursework and received tuition benefits with us.
“Thanks to UPS and Metropolitan College, I have the ability to live the life I deserve. I can graduate debt free, and I don’t have to worry about student loans."
Gissel’s advice for students considering participating in the Metropolitan College program is to “do it”.