For Carolyn Franzen, serving her country was a career path chosen based on a family tradition. The daughter of a Navy chief petty officer, Carolyn attended one year of college after high school, but admits she wasn’t ready.
“I joined the Air Force in 1999, and I had a lot of good opportunities,” she says. Carolyn worked as an aviation resource manager—at bases in Oklahoma, Alaska and Colorado. Her job was to ensure aircrew members were ready for their missions, managing flight records and mission data, validating aircrew safety, monitoring daily flight information and aircrew training, and more.
Something to Prove
With degenerative disk disease, arthritis and other health problems, Carolyn began to think ahead about what life after the Air Force might look like. That picture included school. “I went back to college to better myself, and also to prove to myself and my children that I can do this,” says Carolyn, a mother of three girls. In 2011, she retired from the Air Force and joined McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey on the civilian side—still in aviation resource management.
With excellent support from her parents and her husband, Carolyn set out to find an online university that would help her meet her goals. “I knew that between working and being a parent and a wife, I needed a college that was online and offered good support,” she says. “I heard all positive things about American Sentinel. They were flexible and they accepted my military benefits.” Carolyn enrolled in the Bachelor of Science Business Administration (BSBA).
Making Herself More Marketable with Additional Education
Although Carolyn has spent her entire career in healthcare, her job has always required business skills. After finishing her bachelor’s, she decided to continue her education at American Sentinel—to earn an MBA Healthcare degree. “These degrees will make me more well-rounded and give me skills for my future,” she says. “I’d love to stay in healthcare, but do something administrative. I’m excited about what is to come.”
Overcoming the Obstacles
Carolyn will complete the MBA Healthcare in early 2015. Her biggest obstacle in finishing her education has been finding time for it all. “I’ve made it happen with hard work and sacrifice, but it definitely isn’t easy,” she says. “It feels so great to be almost there.”
One of the best aspects of Carolyn’s education, she says, is the quality of the teaching. “American Sentinel has been a wonderful experience, and although the teachers really challenge you, I’ve gotten great support from them and from the advisors. In the end, I feel like I’m a better student and professional.”