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Meet Kristi Birchfield

Meet Kristi Birchfield

Meet Kristi Birchfield, a West Virginia native and an online MS Econ graduate of the Chambers College. 

Originally from Jonben, West Virginia – a small coal town in Raleigh County – Birchfield headed to Midway University in Kentucky for college where she received her undergraduate degree in business administration. 

However, considering a lack of jobs in her area, she felt a masters in Econ would allow her to apply to opportunities in multiple industries due to its versatility. 

After graudating with her masters in 2021, she is now a proud West Virginia University business alumna.

Learn more about Birchfield and her experience with our program: 

Q: Why did you choose the online MS Economics graduate program at WVU?

A: When considering a lack of jobs in my area, I felt the Econ degree would allow me to apply to opportunities in multiple industries because of its versatility. The opportunity to analyze data and learn R (open-source programming language specifically designed for statistical programming) was exciting for me also, as I felt I needed those types of skills to compete in the job market. I enjoy numbers and problem-solving, so the MS Econ program seemed like a perfect fit for me. Also, as a mother, being able to complete a degree online from from a reputable school such as West Virginia University was a huge selling point for me. 

Q: How was your experience learning online? 

A: I was nervous about attending courses online and also being an older student, but it was an awesome experience. The faculty was extremely supportive, organized and personable. The professors and their coursework push you to think critically.

Dr. Hall (Dean Josh Hall) is an amazing person. I had doubts about my ability to complete the program, but he always encouraged me. His acceptance of me into this program was life changing.

Q: What experiential learning opportunities have you had in the College that have changed the way that you think about business and how it is applied in the real world? 

A: The program was heavily focused on data gathering and analysis. It changed the way I approach problems and decisions because I learned in the program that the data will often surprise you.

Q: Did your graduate degree help you rise in your career? 

A: Most definitely. Being in southern West Virginia is tough as far as job availability, but after completing the degree, I was offered multiple well-paying jobs. 

Completing this degree program from WVU was a game changer for my career. It was the single most important decision I've made for my career. The job hunt changed in a positive way for me immediately after enrolling into the program. 

Today, I am the Business Development and Marketing Manager for a third-party logistics company. 

Q: What advice would you have for a student thinking about the online MS Economics program? 

A: This program offers a collaborative and supportive environment. Don't worry if you feel a bit rusty, as I did at first. The professors at the Chambers College will help you along. 

Q: How do you hope to change the future of business? 

A: I had the opportunity to learn a modern approach to business problems. I feel I have an opportunity to share what I've learned to impact the way business is done to empower people, improve processes and create more value. 

Q: What is your favorite WVU tradition that you now carry with you?

A: Singing "Country Roads". It's a beautiful tribute to our state. 

Learn more about our online MS Econ program or apply today.


SH 03/31/23

CONTACT: Shelby Hudnall 
Marketing Specialist
John Chambers College of Business and Economics 

Chambers College