Welcome to the ACE Alumni Spotlight, where we highlight alumni members and share what they are up to.
Nikki Wilson has found her calling. She’s transitioned her experience as a teacher into the ed tech industry and now supports schools and students from a new perspective. Read on to see how our M.Ed. in Educational Business Administration program strengthened Nikki’s work in her ed tech career.
ACE: What’s your current job? Tell us a little about what you do.
Nikki Wilson (NW): I’m the assistant director of success operations at a youth program management software company. I manage the team that supports our partner success managers and their partners. Our partner success managers help clients with a variety of needs, such as technical support, rostering scholars and assisting with curriculum orders and needs. In my role, I collaborate a lot with other teams, especially as we continue to grow and expand our product and overall organization.
ACE: When and how did you know you wanted to have this career?
NW: I transitioned out of teaching about nine years ago and obtained several roles at the district level before shifting to a sales/customer success role at my previous organization. I knew that I did not desire to be a principal or school leader. Once I shifted into the ed tech space, I learned what I wanted to be when I “grew up.” Working with programs, schools and districts to support their students’ needs through ed tech tools is right where I belonged. The more I worked with district-level leaders, the more I wanted to learn about the business operations of education. I was so thankful to find ACE’s Master of Educational Business Administration – it was right up my alley! Once I completed my degree, I knew the next step was to take my prior knowledge and strengths and combine it with this newfound knowledge to support and lead other ed tech professionals.
ACE: How did you hear about ACE?
NW: When I taught high school years ago, I remember ACE being present in our district. Many of my colleagues had their higher ed degrees from ACE. At the time, I did not have a desire to get my master’s degree, so I always kept it in my back pocket for the right time!
ACE: How were you able to complete an online degree successfully? What tips would you share?
NW: I am a stickler for time management. I have four young children, a full-time job and many other life activities that require my calendar to be clear and organized. I organized my week to where I spent two weekday evenings and one weekend afternoon/evening to complete my coursework. Once I got into a rhythm, I found that I worked more efficiently when I blocked my evenings at particular times. I would also set an alarm to remind me to walk away, even if I wasn’t finished. I knew the work would be there the next time I sat down.
ACE: How has your ACE degree helped you in your career?
NW: The biggest impact that my degree has had on me is the knowledge I gleaned from each course. I was able to understand and relate so much better to the district-level personnel that I was working with on a day-to-day basis.
ACE: Which professor had a strong, positive affect on your ACE education?
NW: Dr. Bretti by far had the best impact on my education. You could feel his passion through his discussion posts and communication. His feedback was always helpful and encouraging, and I learned so much from him.
ACE: Personally or professionally, what are you loving right now?
NW: I am new to my professional role as of August 2022, and I am loving the impact that we are making to programs and scholars all over the country. My team is amazing and I love the planned growth in our near future. Personally, I am loving this post-pandemic season of life as I’ve missed travel. I’ve already taken several trips this year and have Egypt planned for this month!
Being an American College of Education alumni has its perks. When you return as an alumni for another program, you can save 5% off your tuition with the Alumni Continuing Education Grant.