Spotlight: Organizational Leadership Grad Kathleen Richards

Organizational Leadership

To get an insider’s perspective of Union’s Master of Science in Organizational Leadership we asked recent graduate and emerging leader Kathleen Richards (M.S. 2015) about her experience in the program.

What problem did the Master’s in Organizational Leadership solve for you?

I was just about to finish my B.S. in Business Management at Union Institute & University when I heard about the Master’s in Organizational Leadership degree. The focus of the program was a perfect match for me. For my graduate studies, I wanted to focus on the challenges in the modern business environment and leadership best practices.

The Organizational Leadership program has provided the training to meet the challenges of today’s business world as a professional leader. The skills I learned allowed me to get a new job in a whole new field. I was in a dying industry and I am now an IT Project Manager focusing on solutions and services. I strive to use my education to add value in every way. My boss told me when he hired me that he planned on utilizing all of my knowledge from my previous employment, and all of my knowledge from my higher-education to add value to our operations.

After just a few weeks, I was able to use some of my expertise to create a presentation focusing on best practices. This was a learning experience for my manager and director. They were pleased with the results so I was invited to provide a gap analysis, examining where the organization is and where we want to be. My new employer wanted me to see where we are, and make suggestions for improvements. This is a whole new world for me!

Did you like the format of the Master’s in Organizational Leadership program?

The best part of the Organizational Leadership program is the cohort model. All of the students are in the same cohort throughout their studies. We get to know each other, get comfortable with each, and really build a networking and support community. This even extends to the professors, who are all very supportive, and offer their services as coaches and mentors, which I took advantage of. The all-online learning format is executed with expertise.

My favorite thing about the program is how the two classes that are taken at one time are complementary to one another. Later, when you have the next session of classes, they play off of the previous classes. It is planned out in a manner that adds incredible value to the whole experience.

Would you recommend Union to others?

I would (and do) recommend Union to others. Union is top-notch from enrollment to graduation. Everyone is supportive and encouraging. They focus on what we really need in this world: ethical decision making, an understanding of scarce resources, and how we can treat those resources with respect and be sustainable.

I have made friends with so many people throughout my education at Union, and I am a different person after having been a student here. I am happier, more secure, and I have been able to focus on my vision for the future and make it happen. This is only the beginning for me and the success that I have been able to achieve because of Union Institute & University.