Class of 2018 Graduate Spotlight: Amanda Stinton



Graduate Spotlight: Amanda Stinton

REALTOR® University Class of 2018

Concentration: Real Estate Association Management

Looking at the broader picture, how do you think the Master’s program impacts the real estate industry as a whole?
This program provides a unique platform for those interested in the real estate industry to discuss and explore the detail around the nuances we face every day. One way this program impacts the industry from the broader scope is allowing and encouraging a more “professional professional.” There’s lots of talk about ‘raising the bar’ and this is a great way for members to really walk the walk in that sense. Every course and every lesson connected me and the students I was working with to a timely topic or discussion within the industry almost immediately. It was great to feel like things synced up naturally, which allowed for deeper connections throughout the industry and with members.

Tell me about your concentration, why did you pick it?
My concentration was in Association Management, and it focused a lot on leadership theory and change management. As an association staff person, this concentration had two primary outcomes – to help me better understand the relationships between leadership and stakeholders; and to broaden my understanding of leadership within the association world. I chose Association Management as a concentration because I thought it would provide me a wider range of opportunities within the association world, while also allowing me to strengthen some of my existing skills and interests.

Tell me how you feel the Master’s program will impact your future in a positive way.
Much of this Master’s program strengthened my link to the real estate industry and general leadership concepts. Aside from the community I was able to grow and build out of completing this program, the program provided me with the necessary tools to pave my own path professionally through the association world.

Tell me a bit about yourself in general.
I’ve been lucky to work as an association professional for the past ten years and have always been involved in education, working directly with members and boards on a regular basis. I love to travel, garden, cook, and spend time outside.  I was born and raised around Chicago and love this city, especially in the summer. My husband and I live just outside the city now.

What or who encouraged you to enroll in the program?
My family. I had been looking at various Master programs at local universities and after speaking with a handful of students about their experiences at RU, this seemed like a wise move. The program content was in line with my interests. Plus, the cost was very competitive and the concentration in association management aligned with other programs I was considering. It was great to have support from my family from application and enrollment through to graduation. 

What did you find the most challenging about the program?

The quickest lesson from this program is that time is a finite resource! I travel frequently for work – about once a month throughout the year. Being on the road made the time management especially challenging. I remember one January during the program when I was on the road presenting at a conference and had a separate bag filled with books and notebooks because I knew I had a paper due that weekend. I knew I would have to be strategic with every minute of my time – from lunches and dinners to airplane time – in order to stay on track. Being mindful of my schedule and staying organized from the onset was key, and working in the cloud so I could access articles and assignments on any device at any time was crucial. It’s challenging, that’s no secret. Staying on track for me involved sitting down at the beginning of each term and mapping out the syllabus and where I’d be week by week (i.e. at home, at a conference, etc). From there, I could budget my appropriately over the course of the term.

Earning a Master’s degree and working full time is demanding. I would imagine there were moments when this was overwhelming. What helped you survive those moments?
I made a point to connect with past and current students during my first few classes and throughout the program. Having a “tribe” to talk with, get support and encouragement from, and provide support and encouragement was immensely helpful. There are certainly moments when you feel completely oversaturated and like you just can’t finish it. But you can. Having a core group of students available for calls or emails – even when we weren’t in the same classes – helped me survive those moments.

What would you tell prospective students about the program?

Don’t think this is something that is out of reach! Students within the program are supportive and friendly, and are all in the same boat. Figure out how this can work with your short or long term plans and take the next step. The faculty is great. Yes, the schedule can be demanding, but student services will work with you to match your required courses with your timeline. If you enjoy learning and digging deeper into what’s changing and top-of-mind within this field, look into this program.

Congratulations Amanda Stinton!

A graduation ceremony will take place on May 18 at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C.