Being the director of human resources at a health care facility kept Leanna Nalley busy. But as she helped her administrative team tackle complex planning issues, she started to realize just how valuable a business education could be.
“I knew there were aspects of business I needed to understand better,” Leanna said. “In the human resources field, you must have an understanding of accounting, marketing and other business subjects in order to be an asset to your department.”
Leanna started a master’s degree program years ago, but had trouble completing the course work while maintaining a full-time work schedule. “It wasn’t easy to go to school and work at the same time,” she explained. “The program wasn’t online.”
And with a husband and two teenage daughters at home, neither Leanna’s professional life nor her personal life could allow for the rigid schedule of a traditional brick-and-mortar school. American Sentinel University’s Master of Business Administration program, however, offered a solution.
“Now I can log on any time I want and communicate with the professor and other students,” she said. “I don’t think I’d be able to do it if it weren’t for American Sentinel’s program.”
Financial support from her employer
While she sets aside a little time every day to study, Leanna is able to complete most of her work on the weekends. Her company even allowed her to take a vacation day off with short notice to finish a final project. She also benefits from a generous tuition reimbursement program.
“My company even pays in advance for star nurses,” Leanna explained. “When employees have an associate degree, they are encouraged to earn a bachelor’s degree. When they already have a bachelor’s degree, it encourages them to complete work at the graduate level.”
A more valuable team member
Even though Leanna is only in her first year of the MBA program, her degree has already impacted the work she does for her department.
“In my first course, I studied organizational development, which is right in line with human resources,” Leanna said. “We were working on a project that involved combining departments and having someone manage several new functions. Using what I learned in the course, I was able to develop a plan for our administrative team and contribute to the decision-making process.”
Being in American Sentinel’s online MBA program is helping Leanna advance her career. “I studied accounting and finance previously, but never at the same level. I now have even more credibility in the department and am a more valuable member of our team,” she said.
And American Sentinel is giving her options. If she chooses, Leanna could expand her program into an MBA Health Care degree, which might open additional doors in the hospital setting.
“American Sentinel has been very helpful along the way,” Leanna said. “I’m able to set a great example for my daughters. They will be going to college in a few years, and I want to motivate them.”