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Continuing Education at the Seminary: A Personal MBA Experience

Date: July 9, 2024

Continuing education is one of the many generous benefits that the Seminary offers. This benefit program allows staff to further their education whether it is to get an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree. The benefit can be used for courses held at the Seminary or through another accredited institution. Based on funding available, the Seminary will cover all or part of the cost of tuition.

After putting it off for years, in the fall of 2023 I began my own academic journey and am pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at George Mason University.  My first class was statistics, a very challenging way to begin this journey. Although the statistics class stretched me, I found the tools and methods for collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and presenting data to be helpful. I now see more clearly how these tools relate to the work done by the analysts managing the Seminary’s investment portfolio.

Statistics was followed by Managerial Economics (Fall 2023); Financial Reporting, Decision, and Managerial Finance (Spring 2024); and Organizational Behavior and Organizational Change (Summer 2024). Organizational Behavior and Organizational Change have been a welcome deviation from the heavily mathematical classes that I had taken in the Fall and Spring.  These courses analyze human behavior in the workplace, and I have found them enlightening. Some of the key points touched on in the summer courses were motivation, team dynamics, leadership, organizational culture, effective communication, and change management.

Balancing coursework and professional work have forced me to work on my time management skills. Planning ahead and creating a schedule has been one of the best strategies for keeping things organized. I am grateful for the additional benefit the Seminary provides – up to 12 hours of additional leave each semester which can be used for studying for a midterm or final exam. If you are considering taking advantage of the continuing education benefit, please make sure you review the Employee Benefits Handbook and the Staff Continuing Education Policy which can both be found in the Human Resources section of the HUB. Questions can also be directed to HR@vts.edu.

For those who are already enrolled in additional learning programs, best of luck in your academic journey!

Terrell Whitaker
Director, Finance and Accounting

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