Student Spotlights

Organizational Leadership Masters Student Spotlight
Nick W.,
MS in Organizational Leadership

How was your experience with the admissions staff?

The admissions staff was extremely helpful both in explaining what to expect through the application process and in sharing their own experiences as grad students. As a fellow veteran and current MS Organizational Leadership student, Zac was able to walk me through what to expect not only from QU, but also the GI Bill process, and helping me set accurate expectations for the MSOL program.

Can you describe what your experience has been like in the online classroom?

The online classroom has been a new experience for me, but one I've found suits me better than the traditional classroom. I'm able to engage on a schedule that suits my other time commitments, so it requires a bit more discipline, but I appreciate that flexibility.

Looking back, I was certainly a bit hesitant through the first few weeks of that first course. Since then I've found myself jumping right in, especially as I get to know more and more of my fellow students through small group interactions and message boards.

The tutorials the tech staff provided were very helpful in getting my computer and mobile devices set up, so much so that I have yet to find an issue I can't work through with the tutorials.

Can you tell us what sets Quinnipiac’s program apart from some of the other programs you looked at?

I chose the MSOL program at Quinnipiac over others based on value, course offerings, and my experience visiting Quinnipiac for work a few years ago. The ability to complete an entire graduate degree from a "brick and mortar" university online was a significant factor, particularly since I live over 2,000 miles from campus. This truly online experience has allowed me to interact with students from diverse backgrounds and experiences, including a classmate working in Nepal.

How have you been able to tie your past military experience with what you've learned in the classroom?

I have served as an officer in the Army National Guard and Army Reserve for just over 13 years, including a year in Baghdad. As an officer, I've spent the bulk of that time in leadership roles, including leading a platoon of 32 soldiers during our Iraq deployment.

I've found a number of "a ha!" moments where the theory or driving forces behind leadership decisions I made or observed others making connect to the course material. This degree will help me build on the leadership knowledge and experience I've gained thus far while also helping me translate military skills and experiences to the civilian business world.

Did you learn anything in any of your classes that you were able to immediately apply to your job the next day?

Absolutely, it seemed like every week's reading assignments brought new insights that I could apply to my current job. The two examples that come to mind are the lesson on persuasion techniques and decision making types and HBR article "Learning Charisma." Understanding different persuasion techniques and how different personalities make decisions allowed me to adjust my approach on an issue I had been going back and forth with my leadership on. Taking a new approach broke through the stalemate that had developed, allowing us to move forward with a more amicable solution.

The timing of the "Learning Charisma" reading assignment was very fortuitous as I had a presentation to over 200 people coming up within a couple weeks. Focusing on using "charismatic leadership tactics" both made me more comfortable presenting and resulted in a number of compliments on my presentation. As a result of my successful presentation, a director in my company asked me to help him create a short course on public speaking for all employees.

Did you receive a promotion or new job offer as a result of what you learned in the program?

Since beginning the program, my application of lessons learned through the program have led to a career trajectory change. I've recently started a new job in management at a different company. My status in the MSOL program was a significant part of the new job and I've leveraged skills gained in the program to successfully elevate the capabilities and performance of the department I lead.

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