MS in Organizational Leadership
My name is Jeff Natale, and I'm currently the Assistant Director of Learning and Development for The Hartford. Quinnipiac University was my first choice; my wife went through the program previously, and as I was watching her go through the program it really interested me and sparked something in me. I said, "Hey now’s the time to go back to school."
How did you feel about the online format?
I did have questions. I was out of school for 23 years before I came back and participated in the OL program. So I had questions for my professors. They helped me along the way. I had questions for my advisor and everybody just worked through the common goal of making sure that I didn't have to worry about all the fringe things. I just worried about classwork, and they helped me get through anything else.
How did this program benefit you professionally?
The OL program really helped me in my career by enhancing my skills. It made me think a lot harder. I mentioned change management; I mentioned project management; dealing with my employees. It gave me a different perspective I think, and again made me think of things I may not have thought about for years. I was very set in my ways as a leader, but I think that the program helped me grow and, again, helped me realize where I can improve and taught me things to apply in my everyday job.
How were your interactions with your classmates and professors?
The faculty in the program are really responsive. They answered their emails almost immediately. I was surprised that 11 o'clock at night towards the end of the semester, I’m working on a quiz or I’m working on a final project. I would email a professor expecting them to get back to me the next day, or maybe by the same time the next day, and they responded immediately. It was a really great experience with them and the support that they gave was incredible.
The students that I encountered in the OL program, they shared their experiences, I shared my experiences. They brought things to the table that I never thought of. I brought things to the table that they never thought of. We made each other think, we made each other grow; and honestly we were really successful.
Any additional comments about how this program helped you?
So outside of my normal workday I'm also an elected official in Cheshire, Connecticut. I was elected to the Planning and Zoning Commission, so I think that the program helped make me stronger. It helped make me a better leader; it helped motivate me. It really was real world. So every class that I took, I wasn't making up XYZ company; I was using actual scenarios from work, applying them, solving for issues, solving for problems, and it just really, it helped me professionally.