Even with 25 years of real-world experience working for the same company, Anne P. Taylor yearned to return to college for an advanced degree.
“It’s something I always wanted to do,” she said. “I put my education on hold after I had kids. When I started at my company, I was pregnant with my first child. When I went back for my undergrad, my kids were in high school.”
Taylor completed the online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Specialization in Healthcare Management program at Youngstown State University (YSU) in August 2022.
“I went back not only for myself but to show my kids that schooling is important” she said. “While doing the master’s degree, I had one in law school and one in undergraduate school. We did our homework at the same time.”
One month after enrolling at YSU, Taylor earned a promotion to executive director of financial services management at The Aultman Foundation in Canton, Ohio. It is her eighth position with the company where she started working in 1996.
“I went for Youngstown State because the price was reasonable, and I could complete the accelerated program by working hard and getting it done in one year,” she said. “I could do it at my own pace while staying on the eight-week program.”
The flexibility of earning a degree online was crucial for Taylor. She and her husband, Ken, have seven children, aged 19 to 28.
“I loved the online format,” she said. “You have to be disciplined to do it, but if you commit the time, it’s doable. The assistants and professors were always readily available, which was helpful.
“You have to work for it, but I love that because I could control my schedule at work and know I had to do all of my schoolwork on Friday, Saturday and Sunday or squeeze time in to do something during the week, if necessary.”
Taylor began her career as a radiology aide after learning about the field as a high school student.
“I went into the radiology program because it was a quick two years,” she said. “I loved taking X-rays, but I then got into management. It blossomed from there.”
After she became a radiology supervisor in 2006, Taylor benefitted from her managers, who encouraged her to build on her success and continue to move ahead.
“When I got into management, I got to work under a number of people who put me on a cost-accounting project or a strategy project,” she said. “They wanted to push me to make me a better leader. They also emphasized the importance of getting a degree.”
Taylor took their advice, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Malone University in 2016. This was a hybrid program, so she had some experience as an online student when she enrolled at YSU five years later.
“Each of the courses in the MBA in Healthcare Management program were really good,” she said. “I’ve been in a leadership position for so long in my current profession that some of the information was a review, but I took away pieces from all of the classes.
“Here at my job, they have been very supportive of me going back to school. The information I learned in the program was especially useful as a strategy for cost-cutting and saving in my current role.”
Hitting Pay Dirt
Taylor said that her family gave her lots of encouragement during the 12 months she was in the online MBA program.
“They were very excited about me going back to school,” she said. “It takes time. There wasn’t dinner on the table every day, and there are some things you have to miss.”
Now that she has a master’s degree to go with her experience, Taylor is glad to have newfound knowledge and opportunities for growth in her career. She’s confident a master’s degree makes her a more well-rounded and prepared professional.
“I don’t have a specific career goal, but I love public health,” she said. ” I have a choice now…I might go back for a doctorate.”
For the last 11 years, Taylor has also served as the lead radiological technologist for the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Game each August at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium through her job.
“It’s a crazy week around Canton,” she said. “It’s always great and interesting to see the resources that each team brings. It’s exciting and fun. It’s also exhausting.”
Taylor is now a proud YSU alumna who is glad she took advantage of the value of earning an online degree at an accelerated pace.
“I got great value out of the program,” she said. “My adviser, Monique Bradford, reached out every other month to see how things were going and if I had any questions or concerns.
“I would definitely go into the program if you can commit the time. You earn more than just your degree. It’s quick, affordable and doable when you have a busy lifestyle — especially balancing a family and work.”