Erin Smith '22 CPS

Digital Automation Engineer, Sanofi
Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies, General Studies

closeup of a smiling Erin Smith standing with her arms crossed

Nearly two decades into her successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, Erin Smith seized upon the opportunity offered by her company to support her in completing the Villanova journey she had begun as a first-year student in 1996. “I knew we had a tuition reimbursement policy that would help pay for my education and when I discovered I could complete my Villanova degree online through CPS, I decided it was time to go back to school,” she says.  

With the help of her CPS adviser, Smith enrolled in online classes to earn her BIS in General Studies. Smith says that her evening courses on Zoom were full of lively, spirited discussion and made her feel fully engaged in the Villanova community. “I bonded with my teachers as well as the students in my classes. We saw each other weekly and participated in online forums, talking and getting commentary and exchanging ideas,” she says.

As Smith progressed in her studies, CPS progressed, too. The college added a minor in Leadership, which Smith was excited to add to her course load. She reflects, “From my experience, all management could benefit from extensive leadership classes to better prepare them to be an effective, empathetic manager. My professors gave us real-world tools that will help us take care of our employees, as well as ourselves.”

With just 10 credits remaining in her degree program, Smith enrolled in accelerated classes, which cover the same ground as full-semester courses but move much more quickly. She loved the fast-paced intensity of the classes, and says that though they were demanding, they were also rewarding: “My whole goal was to finally get my diploma and walk across that stage.”


The Journey Continues

Villanova’s College of Professional Studies offers many paths for students to become what they are not yet