Sandra Robertson didn’t start her career with the objective of becoming a college professor. The teaching profession found her. While serving as Director of Training and Sales Support for GOVA, Inc., a contractor for the Virginia State Lottery, where she worked for 14 years, she occasionally moonlighted as a motivational speaker. During a speaking engagement, a representative from another college asked her to apply for a business instructor position. “I got the job and the rest was history,” Robertson says.
At Thomas Nelson full-time since 2004, Robertson is head of the Marketing program and teaches both Business and Marketing courses. She is also currently a doctoral student, writing her dissertation on “Factors that Influence Students’ Decisions to Drop Out of an Online Business Course.” She is committed to offering her students what she calls, “a life challenging experience.”
One of her methods to challenge students is assigning projects that demonstrate industry experience and enable them to build connections with the business community. “Projects like these really demonstrate the importance of connecting our students with businesses to give them practical knowledge as it relates to the courses they are studying,” notes Robertson.
Robertson further expanded opportunities for students in 2007, when she was a vocal proponent of establishing the Training Specialist career studies program. The new program enables students to become qualified training and development specialists who can provide effective employee training programs for organizations. She also established SIFE team at the college and served as its advisor. SIFE is an organization that empowers students to develop community outreach projects built on market economics, success skills, entrepreneurship, financial literacy and business ethics. Robertson appreciates that she has been able to create additional ways for students to become more connected to the college, saying, “The more connected to the college a student becomes, the closer they are to reaching their academic goals.”