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Are You Ready? – by Kelly Henderson

My name is Kelly Henderson, the one who passed James’ resume to the hiring manager at the prestigious medical device company.  He talks about it right here!  I’ve been swimming in Corporate America for the last 15+ years and have been fortunate enough to be promoted.  A few years ago, while in James’ current position, my manager and director both obtained their graduate degrees.  This was something I started many years ago but failed to complete, I always wanted to go back but life always got in the way.  One afternoon, my director led a team discussion titled, “Are you ready for the tap on the shoulder if something should happen to your job”.  He pushed going back to school for all of us, no matter our previous education. For me, I already had an undergraduate degree so the next step was graduate school; but where?  For others, it was an obtaining an associates or bachelor’s degree. He motivated several people to return to school with his speech.

Fast forward a few months: my company had an “education fair” with all the local schools represented; I walked over to the big cafetorium with a co-worker who didn’t want to go alone.  I talked to Dr. Lawyer about my previous graduate school experience and what it would take to enroll.  I had zero desire to retake the GMAT after all these years; luckily, my previous graduate school work exempted me. Whew!  I discussed the idea with my husband; I needed his FULL support to make this kind of commitment.  At the time, our children were 3 and 6! Hubby and I agreed the timing was perfect; only one child had homework and/or extracurricular activities.  I enrolled for the fall semester; my friend/co-worker did not.  I like to tease him if he had started with me, he would have an MBA by now.

Was I ready?

For the work required in graduate school?  Yes!

For the wonderful bonds I’ve formed with my co-hort? No but it’s been the most amazing journey.  Each of them brought different skills to our classes and the networking opportunities have been fabulous.

To lose my job, due to reorganization, on the same day I finished my MBA?  Definitely NOT but the MBA has positioned me for other amazing opportunities. It all goes back to the conversation with my director years ago about being ready for the tap on the shoulder, losing my job feels very personal but on a professional level, it’s just business and having an advanced degree along with 15+ years’ experience in Corporate America is going to serve me well.

I wouldn’t trade the 26 months I spent in CBU’s CMBA program or any of the bonds we formed for anything.  My position might have been eliminated but no one can ever take my MBA away!  I earned it and it is portable.

Wish me luck!

Kelly Henderson

Class of 2011


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