We Did It
Husband and wife, Michael and Trisha Connolly graduated from Lewis University in May 2009 with master’s degrees in business administration (MBA). Trisha reported having a wonderful experience at Lewis University. She stated, “I met so many people and feel so accomplished since completing the degree.” Trisha Connolly commented that she enjoyed being in school because it was something that she was doing for herself and her future.
Mike discussed how time management was his greatest challenge in obtaining this master’s degree. He explained how he had to “bring work home and try to get homework for school done. I overcame it through hard work and consistent effort as well as teamwork with my wife and project groups.”
Trisha, a stay-at-home mother to four year old Emma and two year old Liam, feels that there is “never a perfect time” to go back to school, regardless of whether her children were older or she was back in the working world. Her husband Mike believes that there is now piece of mind knowing that “we augmented our undergraduate degrees with an MBA. We have a degree that makes us more marketable and increases earning power.” He feels that he is now better prepared to go into management at his current job at Verizon Business.
At one point during the program, Trisha was not only mothering a toddler, but was also four and a half months pregnant. Additionally, she and Mike were moving into a new house, so they needed to take everything “one step at a time.” Mike added that he always tried to plan ahead, especially when working in groups for projects.
When asked how well she managed her time, Trisha replied, “I knew going
into the degree that I was not one of those people who could stay up all night studying and completing assignments... Because Mike was in the program as well, we really had to communicate about how the weekend was going to play out.” Trisha added that activities or outings and were cut back, as there was a commitment made to finishing the degree.
Mike stated that the degree is currently positively impacting his life, as he is better able to understand his customers because of the MBA knowledge gained from the program. He added, “I also understand the economic situation much better.”
In response to a question about college choice, Trisha stated, “We chose Lewis based on location as well as the good feeling we had after meeting with Victoria Weise.” Weise is the Director of Administration for the Graduate School of Management programs.
Networking was also an important factor for the Connollys, as they liked the fact that most of the instructors were adjunct and working at companies in the area. “We also wanted to be surrounded by local people for further connections,” stated Trisha. The reputation of Lewis University was also a very important factor in Mike’s decision to enroll in this program.
Both Connollys stated that Lewis met all of their expectations. Mike commented that it was “a good school” where he made not only connections but friendships as well. Tricia added that she “would recommend the MBA program at Lewis to anyone looking to further their business knowledge and make some great connections.”
Trisha’s advice to anyone thinking about an MBA degree would be to get started right away as opposed to waiting. She believes that “the time goes by so fast, before you know it, the next eight week session is starting!” Mike feels the same way, stating, “once you get started, it goes by so quickly.” He believes that the hardest part is “taking the step from talking about it to actually doing it and registering for classes at a University.” Student loans, as well as tuition reimbursement offered from his employer, financially assisted Mike when completing his degree.