Stephanie Dennis had been working for a major multi-national bank for eight years and recently started a family. Things were going well, and a promotion to a higher-level managerial position was a strong possibility. Dennis wasn’t about to let it slip by.
“Earning my MBA seemed like a good next step,” Dennis said. “I knew that continuing my education would help set me apart from other candidates. In some fields, an MBA has become almost a requirement for advanced positions.”
But, a full-time MBA program often isn’t a realistic option for most working professionals. Like Dennis, many are juggling a career, family and a host of other responsibilities that come with being a working parent.
“Having a family and a job while also going back to school is full of stress and challenges,” Dennis said. “I knew that it was going to be difficult, but I felt that it was something I had to do – both for my career and for myself.”
More students are enrolling in graduate business programs today than ever before, a recent survey found. With good reason, too. More than 79 percent of employers sought to hire MBA graduates in 2017, up 11 percent from 2016, according to a report from the Graduate Management Admission Council.
Graduate students cite a variety of professional, financial and personal motivations for continuing their education, such as increasing their earning potential, unlocking advancement opportunities and a feeling a sense of accomplishment.
For Dennis, her work and her family were still her top priorities. Finding a flexible online degree program that fit her hectic schedule was essential to her success, and she found that Herzing’s online MBA program was the perfect solution.
“At the time, I was running a full department and raising my family,” Dennis said. “There were times that I had to turn in an assignment a few days late, but I knew that my instructors were there for me. They were always very supportive of me.”
She didn’t have to wait until graduation to reap the benefits of her new knowledge, either. While in the middle of the MBA program, Dennis was promoted to a senior managerial position at her company, where she would oversee roughly 300 team members.
In her new role, Dennis is able to put into practice many of the valuable strategic and critical-thinking skills that she developed as an MBA student.
“I’ve certainly become a better leader and manager since graduating,” Dennis said. “I think that earning an MBA benefits you in almost everything you do, whether its professional writing, business communication, building your personal brand or making your resume shine.”
The vast majority of MBA graduates would agree.
According to a recent study, 96 percent of alumni of MBA programs taught the benefits of their graduate education. They say they are better prepared for leadership positions, have advanced more quickly in their careers and increased their earnings since graduating from business school. Most would recommend a graduate management education to a friend or colleague.
Two of her close colleagues actually went back to school while Dennis was finishing her MBA at Herzing. Both women later revealed that Dennis had proved that balancing a job, a family and a degree was possible, and convinced them that they could do it, too.
“I have no doubt that my degree and the great experience that I had at Herzing will support my long-term career success,” Dennis said. “I’m excited to see what the future holds.”