Friday, April 29, 2016

Reflections on Concordia University College of Business in River Forest Illinois

So, I've just about graduated with my MBA. The hoops are jumped through, and I will walk next weekend and graduate for the first time in 12 years. Someone starting first grade when I graduated from WVU will have their own ceremony this year. I had a good experience overall. The professors were of high quality, I learned a lot, and my peers pushed and challenged me. Though I am still a bit mad that I didn't get voted an academic honor (why do they vote on those - I had all A's (and one minus, which they weigh, so my GPA was a 3.97 - boo)), I'll most likely reflect positively on the experience as that one bit fades. Below is a response to a couple of prompts sent to me by the university for a promotional video that I'm not sure I'l ever film since I sent some angry emails regarding the above situation.

What do you value most about the business education that you cultivated, earned and received at Concordia University Chicago’s College of Business?

 I came to Concordia for many reasons, and there are as many reasons for pursuing business education as there are students, if not even more than that. 
There is a great breadth the classes you get to take, but what I really liked was the specialization classes. I have worked in a nonprofit agency for five years now, but the classes I took as part of the concentration in nonprofit management allowed me to gain greater perspective on both my own agency and to think of possible moves for my own career. 
The classes, the professors, and my peers were of such a high quality that Concordia has to be the best value in terms of business schools for local professionals bar none. However, what I also really enjoyed was being able to work with peers from a diverse background. I was in work groups more than once with a foreign-born student and though it wasn’t always easy, I think that those situations are some of the ones where I had to think about myself and my own communication strategies and how we were going to work together with people from different backgrounds.
There’s so much more. I could go on and on about what drew me to the program and how it exceeded my expectations at every turn.

 Describe a situation/story in which your business education helped you advance toward a goal you had set for yourself.  This could be a new position, a project at work, a new role within your position an internship opportunity, etc.

 One of the reasons I came to Concordia was that I needed more education to move up in my company. After undergraduate study in creative writing, I went to graduate school for English. Neither of those gave me the exact qualifications I needed in the face of the recession after 2008. 
I was unemployed and subsequently went back to school and got certified for medical coding and billing. That led me to the organization I am now with. Nevertheless, without more education I would be stuck. Therefore, I mapped out a plan where I just kept going to school. I took basic business classes at Triton, and that helped me in my job, I was still at the same position I was when I started. 
In talking to my boss, it became clear that I would not be able to move up until I gained more subject-area knowledge. 
In the course of the last two years, I have learned so many things that have helped me be a more conscientious worker and better at my job and prepared to step into leadership roles. In fact, the interplay between what I have learned at Concordia and my own position has been so successful that I have been promoted twice in the last two years, ahead of the mental schedule I had set for myself. I’ve been in my current position for almost a year, and it is the one that I was hoping that I would be 
considered for with the MBA finalized. I owe much of that success to the MBA program at Concordia.