Why I Got My MBA at NCU

Candace Gerace photo

Tell us more about your decision to obtain your MBA and why you chose NCU.

In short, I have a thirst for learning. 

I was married very young and had two children by the time I was 19. In those early years I worked in the composing room at the local paper, as an office manager and as a protocol director at a chemical research farm. It wasn’t until I was 35 that I decided to go to college and earn my degree in accounting. As it happened, however, I accepted a job as a human resource administrator while I was in school. I continued my education at night and finally completed my undergrad in my mid-40s, all the while working full time, raising a family, accepting a promotion to human resource manager, building two plants, closing a plant, being part of an acquisition and completely changing industries.  

At this point, I had a great career. But after 10 years, I wanted to expand my knowledge of business, so I decided to get my MBA. 

I did my research, while I was thinking about my options, I shared my story with one of our new employees during orientation. He said that he was working on his MBA at Northcentral University. He was very pleased with the program, including the cost. So, the journey began.

At first, I was very skeptical of online learning. I need to be part of a class, to be able to network and ask questions. However, after the first two classes, I saw that I was able to reach out to other students and my professor if I stumbled. The learning platform was easy to maneuver. I realized I could do this. 

What did you hope your degree would help you achieve?

I wanted to lead an organization, either as a COO, or VP/Director of Human Resources. More importantly I wanted to be able to add value to the organization. I also believed if I found the right role, it would also add value to me. Thankfully, I’ve now achieved my goal – I’m a director of HR.

How do you feel your MBA has helped to advance your career?

I would not be where I am now had I not obtained my MBA. 

After graduating from NCU, I had an opportunity to work with a Taiwanese company on a green field project, and of course now I have my current role as a director of HR. 

One of my previous leaders asked me why I was putting myself through all of this after a grueling, stressful week at work. He could see that I was almost completely taxed between work and school. He knew and understood the value of education, but to soften that comment, he also told me that I really didn’t need an MBA. He felt that I was doing well – I was recently promoted in a large role, and I had the potential to grow even more. My response was simple: I was not doing this for the company, but for me. 

Remember that the MBA can open the door – but it’s how you handle the path that follows that matters. 

What advice would you give to other women thinking about getting an MBA?

As Nike says, “Just do it.” It is a big step financially, emotionally, and mentally. The journey sometimes seems tough because of what you sacrifice. But is it worth it? Absolutely. An MBA can offer a wealth of advantages by opening a door that may not have been there before. More importantly, it gives you an opportunity to learn and grow.

 

By Candy B. Gerace

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