New beginnings: Blinn student finds niche at the RELLIS Campus

Raven Tillman is pursuing her Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

Raven Tillman is pursuing her Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

October 25, 2018

The opportunity to be a part of the inaugural class at the RELLIS Campus could not have come at a better time for Blinn College District student Raven Tillman.

With three years of college under her belt and no definite future plans, the Spring native was ready for a new beginning that would put her on the right track to her dream career as an event planner.

“One day, I heard an advertisement for the RELLIS Academic Alliance on Spotify,” Tillman said. “At that point, I had no idea what I was doing with my life, so I decided to sign up, and I was accepted on the spot.”

Through the RELLIS Academic Alliance, students complete their foundational coursework at Blinn’s newly opened Walter C. Schwartz Building at the RELLIS Campus in Bryan, and seamlessly transfer to several Texas A&M System universities, including Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Prairie View A&M University, Tarleton State University, West Texas A&M University, Texas A&M University-Texarkana, Texas A&M University-Kingsville and Texas A&M University-Central Texas, also located onsite.

During the 2018-19 school year, RELLIS students will take all their courses in Blinn’s 83,000-square-foot Schwartz Building, which features 19 classrooms and eight laboratories. The Texas A&M System’s academic facility, which will be located across the street from the Schwartz Building, is scheduled for completion in June 2019. Upper-division RELLIS students will complete their bachelor’s degrees at the facility upon its completion.

Since Tillman arrived at RELLIS with more than 60 credit hours, she is in the process of completing her remaining Blinn courses while simultaneously taking classes toward her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from A&M-Corpus Christi.

“From the start, Raven was so passionate about completing her degree at the RELLIS Campus,” Advisor Rebecca Reyes said. “We evaluated her transcript together, found the career direction she wanted to go in, and felt A&M-Corpus Christi’s Bachelor of Business Administration degree program was the perfect fit. Raven was extremely grateful for the opportunities available to her through the RELLIS Academic Alliance.”

Aside from coursework, Tillman is reaping the benefits of the RELLIS Campus’s intimate educational environment by stepping out of her comfort zone to get to know her peers. Since there are no upperclassmen to welcome incoming students, Tillman volunteered as a student orientation leader to guide her classmates in the right direction.

“I am loving the experience so far,” she said. “Most universities are so large and overwhelming. The RELLIS Campus is small and personal, so you get one-on-one interaction from other students, advisors, and professors. I am so excited to finally have found my niche.”

Upon graduation, Tillman hopes to use her business degree to open her own event planning business. A&M-Corpus Christi’s College of Business is accredited by AACSB International in both accounting and business, a distinction held by only 1 percent of business schools worldwide.

In addition to small class sizes, elite faculty, and student organization engagement, Tillman is most looking forward to A&M-Corpus Christi’s internship opportunities, which will get her foot into the local event management industry.

“I spent too many years not knowing what I wanted to do, and I never felt loyal to any particular school,” Tillman said. “RELLIS is giving me that fresh start I needed to find my place.”

For more information about the RELLIS Academic Alliance, visit rellis.tamus.edu/academicalliance.

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