Alumni

Starting the year with a new MBA, a new job and a great outlook

January 06, 2015 by Cindy O'Dell

What do you want to do in 2015? That question is still lingering for both dedicated New Year’s resolution makers and even for those who avoid them.

Recent Brandman graduate Diana Shaw has some advice that might help: “Go to school. It’s such a good investment in oneself. It will pay off.”

Shaw came to our attention when she sent an email to her academic adviser Katrice Hernandez. “Katrice, I just received an email today from Brandman about degree conferral – thank you, thank you, thank you for all you have done to help me. Did I share that I got a really awesome job because of my MBA?”

The “awesome” job is director-in-training for national client operations for CareCore National/MedSolutions, a specialty benefits management organization that specializes in using evidence-based medicine to help health insurance companies provide patients with, as Shaw put it, “the right treatment, at the right time, at the right place.”

She works from her home in Sacramento, coordinating as needed with her South Carolina-based employer.

“I like that I’m my own boss. I’m completely autonomous. I have things I’m learning to do still, but other than that I don’t have rote tasks. I have things that just come out of left field,” said Shaw. “I’m very interested in how healthcare is administered and in strengthening the system and making it more equitable. This company is very good at allocating resources and using them wisely.”

Shaw had a 20-year career in insurance sales when she decided to go back to school, completing her bachelor’s degree in 2010 through Brandman. Life, in the form of caring for parents as they dealt with a variety of health issues, got in the way of continuing further, but then Shaw turned again to Brandman to complete her MBA in 17 months.

Tips for new students
  • Ask questions, even “stupid” ones. It often turns out that others in the class have the same question.
  • Be persistent and use the help that’s available.
  • If you don’t know what you want to do, volunteer. It’s a great way to get experience and help you focus your path.

Diana Shaw

She credits Hernandez with helping her stay on track, particularly when a class had to be postponed. Most of her classes were done online, which worked particularly well for Shaw who was working and caring for her and her husband’s parents.

“It (online classwork) was a lifesaver. Wake up at 2 in the morning and you can do homework!” she said. The flexibility of the program and the faculty, the help she received from Hernandez to find solutions when caring for parents cut into class time, and the ability to make up for lost time all helped her succeed.

Although Shaw already had connections with CareCore through her previous work, she credits her recently completed MBA with helping her get her latest, most satisfying and most financially rewarding position.

“The fact that I have an MBA now made the vice president of operations take notice. They want you to show that you have managerial talent, but that degree is what gave me the opening,” she said.

Shaw also chose Brandman University because of the great experience her husband had receiving his teaching credential and then his master’s in education from what was then Chapman University College. He is currently head of the English department at the Sacramento area high school where he teaches.

 

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