Siblings Learn Together


Kara and Billy Macrae.

A brother and sister are enjoying earning their bachelor’s degrees together at the University of Redlands School of Business in Temecula.

Billy and Kara Macrae transferred to Redlands from Mt. San Jacinto College (MSJC), and are working towards earning their degrees in business. The siblings are only 10 months apart, and not only share the same birth year, but also the same classes and books.

The two are committed to supporting one another.

“We are different, but we are very close,” Kara said. “Our differences really balance out and we build each other up.”

“We both hold full-time management positions and have busy lives,” Billy said. “We help each other with time management and we hold each other accountable.”

Last spring, both Billy and Kara completed most of their general education units at MSJC. After attending a college transfer fair, the two had discussed where to earn their bachelor’s degree, and learned that Redlands had eight campuses throughout Southern California. Billy’s manager had also encouraged him to research Redlands. It was local and offered a two-and-a-half year program with a convenient one-night-a-week format.

Another determining factor was the tuition discount offered to MSJC students, and the fact that some of their MSJC coursework qualified them for program waivers.

Once enrolled, Billy and Kara took part in the Business in the Euro Zone program, and visited Austria and Italy. Because the course was tailored to working professionals, the trip was 14 days long and provided two credits. Kara was chosen as the student leader for the trip, and maintained schedules for students, presented corporations with thank you gifts and gave a speech on behalf of the University.

“We had never been out of the country and then there we were meeting with international business managers from organizations like OPEC and Oracle,“ Kara said. “Being in a foreign country and not knowing anyone, it was nice to have each other.”

“The trip was a phenomenal experience,” Billy said.

According to Keith Roberts, associate dean for the School of Business, the study abroad program at Redlands “is the crown jewel for business schools.”

“Students grow professionally and personally,” he said. “Time and time again, students who participate in the abroad programs share that it is truly a life changing experience. It’s a special experience for students to grow their leadership skills in an international setting.”

After graduating from the University of Redlands, both Billy and Kara aspire to begin careers with project management roles and to earn their MBA degrees.

Posted: Dec. 6, 2013

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