Christy Colgan is a health and wellness consultant with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC). She graduated from the NC State Professional MBA program in December 2013.
Deciding to earn an MBA
I graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in exercise physiology, and I wanted to diversify my education so I would be more qualified to move into a management role.
Choosing the right MBA program
What really sold me on NC State was the focus on technology – the future of wellness is certainly in technology. I also liked that the program included an international experience in China, which gave me a broader business perspective. Plus, I could complete the program online, which was a big help since I was working fulltime. You really do get the best bang for your buck with NC State’s online MBA program—a high caliber education at a reasonable price.
Learning in an online environment
Sometimes I felt more connected to my MBA team than to my co-workers! The program really did a good job training us to interact in an online setting, and our professors were available to help us on weekends and evenings – I never had trouble getting in touch with them. I could complete assignments at my own pace, but I still had the resources of my classmates and professors.
I didn’t have a business background, and my toughest class was economics — but I actually enjoyed it the most! The professor was charismatic, so he made it fun. My teammates helped by walking me through some of the problems. I returned the favor by helping them with marketing and human resources assignments. We all had different skill sets, so we balanced each other out.
Our exposure to technology was broad – from the latest in healthcare technology to cloud servers to the technology behind supply chain management. We explored nearly every business topic through the lens of technology.
Gaining international exposure
We visited China during the first year in the program. Most of us work for companies based in the United States, so it was interesting for us to learn how business is conducted in Asia. Our professors made sure we had a good background before the visits so we were prepared to ask knowledgeable questions. One of the most interesting visits was to a law firm. They were very open about the difficulty that U.S. companies have in protecting intellectual property, because Chinese business law is not well established.
Applying learning on the job
I learned a lot about general finance and budgets, which I was able to use to cut some costs from our company’s wellness program without sacrificing quality. I also used the marketing strategies we studied to promote our wellness programs. Since starting the MBA program, I’ve earned two promotions. I’m now a wellness consultant, managing a team of interns and vendors, as well as a wellness coordinator. The program has already paid for itself!