Student Spotlight

Brandman doctoral program inspires a career change

December 09, 2015 by Margo Myers
Kelly Hudson, Brandman Ed.D. student

Kelly Hudson

In a varied career with positions in U.S. Navy intelligence, career counseling, and education, Brandman Ed.D. student Kelly Hudson is adding yet another line to her resume –entrepreneur. She’s crediting her doctoral program for the impetus to make the leap.

“I’ve grown so much in my doctorate program, that I needed a new challenge,” said Hudson. “I searched around for the next position but didn’t see anything that lit me up until I came across a business with a service model to help tutor students. That was it!”

Hudson, who’s earning her degree at Brandman University’s campus in Lacey, Washington, is taking on a franchise called Tutor Doctor. It helps students of all ages –from elementary, middle school and high school students to adult learners – with their studies by matching them with a tutor who is a subject-matter expert. Hudson meets with parents or adult learners, does an assessment about how students learn and the material they need help with, and then matches them to a tutor.

“All of the tutors who work with me have gone through a background check, had their references thoroughly checked, and I personally interview them,” Hudson said. “I also work with teachers or instructors so that the tutors know what material is being taught. It’s a holistic approach to education.”

With her experience in the military, Hudson knows how moving to a new location every couple of years can impact students. “Military kids get moved around a lot,” Hudson said. “They switch schools, teachers, and even classes at the same grade level can be taught much differently. Having a tutor, especially for math, can help students maintain their knowledge and ease their transition.”

Making the transition from education to business owner has been a bit of an adjustment, even though Hudson’s business relates to education. She expected to learn leadership development in the Ed.D. program. What she says she didn’t expect is the personal transformational development that comes with the degree. “I would never have had the confidence to take the risk to start this new venture without what I’ve learned in the doctorate program,” Hudson said. “This is absolutely life changing.”

In her last role as the senior manager for Corporate and Community Relations for Brandman University, Hudson saw firsthand how a solid education is the key to opening doors in life. “I want to help students build strong academic foundations now so they can go as far as they want with their educations in the future,” said Hudson.

Already, Hudson has attended intensive training in Toronto to launch the business and is putting together the website and her team of tutors. Her hope is to work with local parents and their children in the area between Lacey and Joint Base Lewis McChord, as well as with adult learners who are going back to school to earn their college degrees. Even now, Hudson is still learning, this time about becoming an entrepreneur.

“There’s a lot to starting a business,” she said. “It’s not easy. But it is very rewarding to be investing in yourself and doing something you feel good about.”

This story also appeared in Kitsap Sun NW Navy Life.

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