Meet Ginger Coker: expert in balancing work, study…and dancing

Accomplished, organized, and outgoing - that is how I would describe Ginger Coker. Balancing a full-time position with Proctor and Gamble, a part-time MBA program, and professional dance pursuits on evenings and weekends is no small feat, but Coker is not only managing this load, she’s thriving with it.

Coker grew up a self-proclaimed “army brat,” to which she attributes her outgoing personality. Living in 11 different places, nationally and internationally, forced her to adapt to new people and cultures quickly. As a child, her pursuit of dance provided some continuity amongst the many moves, and it was what inspired her to study kinesiology at Minnesota State University – Mankato. When she wasn’t in the physiology labs, she was competing in dance, and in 2000, her team secured a national championship.

After college, Coker pursued a career in sales, selling professional hair care product and creating merchandising and marketing plans for salons in the Minneapolis area. At a pivotal point early in her career, Proctor and Gamble acquired Wella, Coker’s employer, and she decided to apply for a position with the internationally renowned company. After four years with P&G, Coker says she “couldn’t be happier.” Her current role is Customer Team Merchandising Specialist on the Target account, and she works within the logistics function. She is an event manager and creates custom special packs for health and beauty brand endcaps at Target.

When asked why Coker chose St. Thomas for her MBA program, she replied, "I chose St. Thomas because I knew…the program was going through the process to become internationally accredited and I believed that was important.  I visited and immediately felt a connection to the people I encountered at St. Thomas and to the Minneapolis campus."

Coker aims to graduate from the Evening UST MBA program in fall term, 2012, just three years after beginning the program. That is an aggressive pace for someone working full-time. And did I mention she is dancing for the Minnesota Swarm when she is not in class or at work? Ginger Coker is a great example of a student committed to learning for learning’s sake, to living life fully.