Completing two online degree programs while working and being a mom required
focus, dedication, and a little help from her mentor
When she started out as a nurse almost 30 years ago, Krista Bradley of Denver, Colo., wasn’t sure she ever envisioned a career in business- but that is just where life led her.
As an executive at a large healthcare organization, Bradley was overseeing research operations. During her career she had supervised others with advanced and terminal degrees, She knew it would be a good idea to complete her BSN and possibly an advanced degree to expand her skill set and advance in her career.
Women make up 67% of healthcare workers, according to the World Health Organization. However, the average pay for women is about 24% lower than for men in the field. Bradley knew that more education could lead to higher pay and opportunities for advancement.
With the encouragement of her boss and the support of her family, she decided to go back to school.
She explored many options and found the online, competency-based programs at Western Governors University (WGU) to be the most flexible, affordable, and efficient for her busy lifestyle as a mom and a business leader. Plus, she was immediately connected with a WGU program mentor, Jen Siebert, who provided constant support along the way.
“Even with my years of experience, the classes were challenging,” said Bradley. “Having a mentor like Jen was so valuable. It was nice to know that I had that extra accountability to get through the self-paced program.”
With WGU’s Competency-Based Education model, Bradley was able to swiftly move through her Bachelor of Nursing degree program thanks to her many years of clinical experience. She then promptly began work toward an M.B.A. in Healthcare Management. But it was the mentor support from Siebert that she credits for her success.
“We had regular calls to discuss the demanding nature of the coursework and how to stay on top of the schedule in order to not fall behind,” said Bradley. “She helped me visualize what the next few years would look like and to see myself completing my goals.”
At WGU, every incoming student is assigned a program mentor who provides extra support, guidance, and mentorship to help them complete their studies.
“I have plenty of students, like teachers and nurses, who want to do more in their careers. Especially in healthcare, experience is really important but having a business degree on top of that opens up so many more opportunities,” said Siebert. “A WGU M.B.A. gives students, like Krista, the foundational skills needed to succeed anywhere.”
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