News & Features

Making Good Change Requires Discipline

posted Nov 17, 2008

by Anne Shaw Heinrich for The Healthy Planet Magazine / Career, Education & Enrichment Guide section

October, 2008

It takes discipline to start something and see it through.

That philosophy applies to many areas of life for Hazelwood resident Michelle Carey, a single mother of four, who not only works full-time, but is also enrolled as a student in the Fontbonne OPTIONS BOS (Bachelor of Art in Organizational Studies) program.

"The program is definitely a challenge, but I love it," says Carey, who has worked as an administrative assistant at Wachovia Securities in downtown St. Louis for ten years. "For one thing, it's convenient. And my study team works very well together. The best way to approach this program is by thinking about it in short-term goals, one class at a time. Before you know it, you're finished with one course and moving on to the next."

Carey attends classes at the OPTIONS North County location in Florissant on Monday evenings. She meets with her study team on Thursday evenings. She is especially intrigued with a career in human resources, and believes she will be well-prepared to enter the field once she completes her degree in July 2009. She plans to continue with the OPTIONS MM (Master of Management) program soon thereafter. Her long-term dream is to have her own human resources business.

Despite her busy schedule, Carey has also been able to carve out time for staying fit. When it's possible, she takes advantage of the fitness center at her workplace, which opens at 5 a.m. She started participating in runwalk races every weekend just to stay in shape. On really busy days, she tries to fit in walks around the building during lunch breaks.

"You really can tell the difference," she says. "I feel so much better when I've been active."

Carey even committed herself to a vegan diet, something she said was difficult at first, but also beneficial.

"I started the diet as a Lenten promise with my church. I did learn how to prepare a lot of different kinds of foods. My children were harder to convince, so I backed off of the diet for awhile, but I'm getting back into it. If you know how to prepare the foods properly, it really does taste good."

Fontbonne OPTIONS is designed specifically to accommodate the needs of busy, working adults with convenient and accelerated undergraduate and graduate degree programs. With its main campus located in Clayton, the university has also established OPTIONS classroom sites in North County, South County, Chesterfield, Fenton and downtown St. Louis.

For more information, call 314-863-2220 or visit

with permission, copyright (2008) The Healthy Planet