Davenport alumna’s patience pays off

Nicole Williams, BBA ‘04 and MBA ’21, first became interested in the field of human resources after experiencing several unpleasant workplace situations early in her career. Those experiences fueled her desire to help others facing similar issues and to ensure employees feel supported. 

In 1995, Williams began taking classes at the Detroit College of Business, which became Davenport University in 2000. She first heard about the college at a high school job fair. The business co-op student knew she wanted to attend college and pursue a career in business, and after learning more about the college and what it had to offer, she knew it was a perfect match. 

“I felt the college’s business program would teach me what I needed to know about the business world, and the scholarships offered made it more affordable for my family,” said Williams.”

The road to get her degree in business management was hard, but Williams was determined. She attended classes at night and on the weekends and worked during the day. This meant she wasn’t able to spend much time with her friends and had little time to herself. 

“It was tough working and going to school at the same time,” said Williams. ” I looked at work like an extension of school where I could gain real-world experience. However, after being at work all day, it was hard to go to school at night. I kept going, though, because I was determined to be the first person in my family to graduate from college.” 

Williams continued working and going to school until she got her first big job in the compliance office at MGM Grand Detroit. She felt like she was on top of the world and had achieved all her dreams.  

“After attending college for about two years, I got what I thought was a big fancy job at MGM and met more people my age,” said Williams. “I started hanging out with friends after work instead of going to class and took almost a year off from school.” 

Williams used that time to focus on work, but it didn’t take long for her to realize she needed to go back to school to finish her degree. Right after graduating from Davenport with her bachelor’s degree in management in 2004, Williams decided that wasn’t enough and enrolled in Davenport’s MBA program. 

While she was working toward her master’s degree, Williams was employed full-time, got married, and had her son. Then, in 2020, she decided to buckle down and finish her MBA. 

Williams has had several different human resources jobs over the years because she wanted to gain as much experience as possible. Sometimes employers would see this as a negative, but Williams disagrees. 

“Most people think I am a job hopper and toss my resume aside, but if you look at the positions I’ve had, there is a progression,” said Williams. “Whether it was a higher-level position or one with better pay or more responsibilities, I took jobs to better myself professionally.”

In 2021, they made the move to Grosse Pointe. She had secured a job working from home in the human resources department at a national medical practice organization but had her sights set on working for her son’s school district someday. Williams liked the idea of being part of the Grosse Pointe Public School System (GPPSS) community and being close to her son while he was in school. 

Williams continued to work from home in Grosse Pointe until a position would open up in the district, and in 2024, her patience was finally rewarded.  

“When I saw the human resource director job opening at GPPSS, I knew it was meant to be,” said Williams. “I was so excited to apply that I submitted my application that same day.”

Williams was offered the human resource director position and was ecstatic. Even though she is only in her first few months on the job, she loves what she does and said no two days are the same, which keeps her job interesting. She likes being the person everyone feels safe going to with questions and strives to support all employees so they can do their jobs to the best of their abilities. 

She feels her degree is like a stamp of approval, backing up the extensive experience she gained while working her way to the top and attending Davenport. She’s also proud to say she is the first person in her family with not one but two college degrees.  


No Responses