Terrince Autry

BA in Communication and Media

"As for growth, my knowledge base has expanded greatly as I have been exposed to courses, ideas, and philosophies that I would not have considered before."


How does your current job relate to the field of communications? What is the most gratifying aspect of your job? What is the most difficult aspect?

My field of expertise is in customer service within the garment industry at the retail level. For some thirty plus years, I have had to interact with a wide variety of customers, buyers, salespersons, managers, executives, CEOs, CFOs, and COOs over those years. It is highly important to be able to communicate on a level that is professional, never condescending, always takes the expectations of the customer into account and, makes the customer a priority. It is something that is not a given: not everyone has the aptitude or patience for this kind of work. But having the ability to help someone and receiving their sincerest thanks is highly rewarding.

Why did you choose to earn a BA in Communication and Media? Why at CUNY SPS and why an online program?

I began my journey in 2008, when the first notions of continuing my education were brought up by several close friends and family members. My choice of major was connected, I believe, to my current profession of customer service. I believed that the combination of a scholastic pedigree and my years of experience would best be served in a higher capacity when I attained my degree. 
Going online was the best option for me, for I believed that I could not afford the time to sit in a classroom after a 8-10 hour shift at a full time job, then travel the hour-and-a-half commute home. Online learning was a Godsend.

Did you ever think that you would enroll in an online program?

When I started to think more seriously about returning to school, the various online programs that were being offered were very appealing. It was never a doubt that I would return but only by using the online option.

What motivated you to return to school to finish your bachelor’s degree?

Family, friends and a nagging curiosity, in that order. Many colleagues had also inquired, believing that I would excel at higher education. I believed that I would do well, what with the years spent in the workforce, and the ability to look at schoolwork with more mature eyes and thought processes, no longer those of a petulant teenager or young adult.  And I’m glad to know I was right.

Which area of communications intrigues you the most?  Why?

Call me a sentimental purist, but the written word holds the most endearing qualities to me. As a lifelong avid reader, I dove into stories and news. As a teen and into my early twenties, I discovered history on a grander scale. I’ve poured over books, articles, journals, all telling the story of…us. Good. Bad. Indifferent. All are written for everyone to share. If I need to choose, then writing and journalistic endeavors would more than likely be my choice of profession.

Which courses/aspects of the program have you enjoyed most so far?

There have been many that I have enjoyed thoroughly. But the courses I have excelled at revolved around sociology.  Studying people and why we do what we do is a complete work in process experiment, because we are always evolving. Heady topics such as racism, classism, urban development, and other social ills have intrigued me for many years. Perhaps I’ll be able to do something about some of the wrongs that I have newfound knowledge about.

Which professional and/or personal goal would you like to achieve prior to graduation? In which ways have you grown as a result of your students at CUNY SPS?

As I realize that I am not the “typical college student,” I have a different idea of what goals I would care to pursue. For me, I am at a point in my career where I may actually have more years in the workforce behind me rather than ahead of me. Seeking to change my field of employ may not be a viable decision, since I am at a comfortable salary range that affords me and my family a comfortable life.  Furthering my current trajectory into something a bit more lucrative would be my immediate goal.
As for growth, my knowledge base has expanded greatly as I have been exposed to courses, ideas and philosophies that I would not have considered before, or of which I was woefully uninformed. 

What advice would you give to someone who is considering returning to school to complete his/her bachelor’s degree?

School is not for everyone. Admittedly, there have been several times when I wanted to stop and resume a more leisurely pace, particularly revolving around home life and family. But that was not something I wanted to do, feeling that I was challenged to engage in more intelligent endeavors. I also felt that my children would feed off of my drive and determination, looking to me as a role model, and it would carry over into their own studies. It has.
That said, I would tell anyone and everyone to give it a try. You never know how well you may do if you do not try. Think of the rewards.

Is there anything else you would like to us about your experience in the program?

I have nothing but great things to say about my experiences thus far. So much so that I am fighting with the idea of continuing on into graduate studies. My only regret is that I cannot engage in my studies as a full time student, so I may achieve success more speedily. But, as they say, slow and steady is the pace…


And here are some quick, fun facts about Terrince:

  • Place of employment: Gerson & Gerson, Inc., makers of Bonnie Jean Dresses
  • Job title: Customer Service Account Manager
  • Place of residence: Bronx, NY
  • Weirdest place you have studied: On vacation in Aruba. Yep.
  • Best thing about your community or NYC: Born and bred. Nothing and no place like New York City and my home borough of The Bronx. Period.
  • What you enjoy doing in your spare time: Being with my wife and children. I love being a Dad. 

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