Department Office: Christine Roundy
When the alarm clock blares on a workday morning, MBA academic program manager Christine Roundy is not one to grumble. “I don’t wake up and think ‘oh no, I have to go to work,’” she says. “I love coming to work; I’m excited to go.”
Roundy’s excitement about helping the Marriott School and the people who work and study here has kept her coming back for nineteen years. She started as a secretary soon after her first child was born but left to be a stay-at-home mom when two more sons joined the family. Off and on she worked part time at the Marriott School, and she’s back full time now that her kids are older teens.
In her current role she works closely with MBA students, managing the curriculum and monitoring their academic progress to make sure they graduate on time. It’s work that still keeps Roundy waking up cheerful—granted, of course, she gets a good night’s rest. “I can’t be a true entrepreneur because I’m not a person who can stay up late and get little sleep,” she laughs. “I need to have my sleep—eight to ten hours of it or I don’t function.”
Though unable to burn the midnight oil, Roundy is an entrepreneur of sorts—she runs a small online business with her oldest son, selling jewelry fashioned from silverware. She designs the pieces, and “he does all the labor,” Roundy says. “I just tell him what to do.” The work covers her son’s gas and spending money while imparting to him a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit.
Last fall, Roundy added a new challenge to her plate: going back to school. Building on her LDS Business College associate’s degree, she started working on her bachelor’s from BYU in a longtime passion—family history. “My first time back in the classroom was weird because I was the oldest person in the room,” Roundy says.” I’m not used to being old—it was a little awkward. The students seemed to think ‘she’s old, so she knows what she’s doing.’ But that’s not true by any means.”
Returning to school came with a bit of a learning curve for Roundy—“writing papers is not my forte”—but she loves learning about family history. She first jumped into research as a child when her parents took her to the family history library for a few hours every other Saturday. What might have been torture for other preteens was an adventure for Roundy. “It was fun to hang out with my parents and go through all the microfilms,” she says. Just seeing her great-grandfather’s name scrawled on a record made him and other ancestors real to her.
In the future Roundy may get an EMBA herself, but for now she’s focused on finishing her bachelor’s—and on shepherding current MBA students in their journey through the program.