Avila Now

March 2, 2022

Q&A: Monica Curls, MSOD ’15

Monica Curls
Monica Curls.

Monica Curls, MSOD ‘15 is the Manager of Government Compliance for Terracon, an engineering company based out of Olathe, Kansas. Before joining Terracon, Curls worked for Black & Veatch and also served as Director of the Kansas City Branch Office of the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office. Curls earned her MSOD from Avila in 2015.

Would you please share your career journey?

“A friend got me interested in pursuing my MSOD. She works in organizational development and told me I could take one class and go from there. This was 18 years after earning my bachelor’s. I was very paranoid about going back to school. I didn’t know if I was going to have the focus to start back into an education program. I ended up graduating with two degrees; my MSOD and a Master of Arts in Management, with an emphasis in project management. I got a new job two months after graduating. 

I’m always looking for opportunities to grow and develop. I think that’s been my journey since getting the degree.”

What did you learn in your MSOD program that most impacted your personal and professional life?

“I think the biggest thing that I got out of the MSOD program was the fact that I could go back to school. As I said, I was nervous about the commitment. Getting involved in a program with content that I was interested in was so important. I continued to build my confidence with each class. 

I think a lot of times, people say, ‘It’s easy if you just go from your undergrad, go right into grad school.’ That’s going to be the easiest path. Don’t wait. The fact that I waited 18 years was why I was so nervous about it, but the professors were wonderful and very engaging. The content was so necessary. 

There were so many instances in the projects that I was working with where I saw the dysfunction. We were so focused on, let’s build this and let’s engineer this, that we forgot to take into account the engineers themselves and the things that they were going through. 

There are a lot of places, whether it’s your church or your membership organization that can utilize those same concepts and they just haven’t thought about that in that context.”

“I’ve learned that I’m using my organizational development psychology skills all the time to analyze situations. “

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