MS in Organizational Leadership
My name is Julie Vigil and I am the administrative manager for the department of pediatrics at the University of Connecticut Health Center. So while I was at Quinnipiac University, every single class that I took we learned something that I could apply immediately to my job. Everything from the performance management class, the project management class. The program has given me all the tools that I need to succeed.
How did you feel about the online format?
The online environment was perfect. I'm very busy during the week; being able to schedule when I needed to tackle assignments or I needed to do my readings worked perfectly with my schedule. There were other people in the program that have young children or children doing sports on the weekends so they needed to get everything done during the week, so I think that flexibility that it has where you can do the work when you're available to do the work is absolutely perfect. If you are in a classroom, you have to go Tuesday from 6 to 8 PM and you have to have your assignments done before then. So you don't have that type of flexibility, where the online program offers you tons of flexibility.
Can you describe what your experience has been like in the online classroom?
Being in my 40s, I'm not a technology native, so understand I was nervous about doing an online program. I can't say enough good things about Quinnipiac's online technology support personnel. Many times, I felt ignorant how to use some of the required software programs but they were always friendly, helpful and never made me feel inadequate on my use of the computer. I went through the program with a Mac and although the MSOL program can tolerate it, I would recommend a PC, as there are fewer complications with software compatibility.
How were your interactions with your classmates and professors?
With the faculty, excellent interactions. If you email them they email you back right away or you know at the latest 24 hours. They're very quick to offer guidance and reviews of your work. And then as far as the classmates go, I think everyone there, because of the four-year requirement for your work experience, they are just as dedicated as you are and they have a desire to move ahead in their professions, or you know personally; so they are just as determined to do as well as you are, which makes a really big difference when you're in a group setting.
How was your experience with the admissions team?
The wonderful thing about this leadership degree is working with a wide variety of people. I made friends with each group I worked with and for those of us who lived near each other, we made off line study dates, lunch dates and even celebrated our graduations together. The work was challenging, there is no doubt about that, but finishing my degree with a 4.0 is one of my proudest accomplishments. I worked very hard for it but I had support from my family, from Quinnipiac and my fellow students along the way.
How did this program benefit you professionally?
I was selected to work on a fellowship project with one of my professors, and it was during that project that I learned a lot about patient safety and quality, and developed a passion for it. I decided to go on and get my certificate in health care compliance because of that passion, but also Quinnipiac paid for me, through a grant, to go to a couple of conferences. One in New York and one in Washington D.C., where I gained even more knowledge that wasn't taught in the classroom and was also an opportunity to network with a lot of professionals in the field. I cannot believe how fast the time flew while I was here. When you enroll and you're looking at the course schedule and how many courses you have to take and you think, 'Oh, am I ever going to get through this?' It goes so fast, especially with the seven-week courses.
Did you receive a promotion or new job offer as a result of what you learned in the program?
As a result of everything I learned in the organizational leadership program, I was selected as the department manager at the University of Connecticut Health Center for the department of pediatrics and the one thing that my boss said in my interview was that he was very impressed with the coursework that I had to do for organizational leadership.
The faculty would push us to excellence. They wouldn't just let us rest on our laurels and give subpar work. They expected the best from us and we returned the best.