As a single working mom, Nancy Cobb did not have much time to pursue a graduate degree and improve her chances to move up at the Fortune 500 company where she worked for more than two decades.
"Getting a graduate degree was always a goal, but it was hard to fit into my schedule as a single working mom," Cobb said. "I love to learn and grow. I wanted to enhance my job skills. After working at the same company for 21 years, I finally was able to utilize the tuition reimbursement program to do it."
Cobb earned a Master of Science (M.S.) in Management and Organizational Behavior from Benedictine University. Today, she works as a consultant for Fortune 500 companies, primarily those in the consumer products area, applying the skills and knowledge she gained from one of the top programs in the country.
"One of the reasons I selected Benedictine University for my graduate work was the reputation of the Management and Organizational Behavior program," Cobb said.
The Management and Organizational Behavior program at Benedictine University is one of the oldest in the world. For more than 40 years, the program has prepared hundreds of advanced professionals to become leaders in understanding and managing change.
Most of the time, students don’t even have to change their schedules to learn about managing change.
"The location and the time the program was offered both complemented my work schedule and also made the program attractive," Cobb said.
The M.S. in Management and Organizational Behavior curriculum provides students with a solid foundation in the traditional areas of management and fosters collaborative faculty-student relationships aimed at achieving a common goal – learning to create and sustain excellence in management.
"The biggest and best surprise was how practical the classes were," Cobb said. "I could apply what I learned immediately. Class projects were always job-related, and having peers in class made it easy to learn from others’ experiences.
"The application of the principles taught made the education come alive," she added. "It was not just theory. This is what education should be."
And for someone who had not been in a classroom for many years, there was another bonus.
"I liked that the grade wasn't based on a test, but on projects," Cobb said.
Although she has changed jobs – Cobb founded her own company, Partners in Possibilities – her goals have changed little.
"I always wanted to earn the degree and move further into Organization Development (OD) functions and responsibilities," she said. "My goals have not changed. I am always looking to grow and take on new projects to apply these skills."
The M.S. in Management and Organizational Behavior program at Benedictine is helping her tackle those new projects.
"The program added credibility to my credentials and gave me more opportunities to consult on bigger OD projects," Cobb said. "It also gave me an increased self-confidence in my skill sets."