Although Emily Kraynak already has a master’s degree under her belt, she saw good reason to continue her higher education and make room for a second one.
“I was at a point in my career where I wanted to learn more about corporate,” she said. “I knew that for the foreseeable future, I would still be working in that space.
“I wanted to learn more about the big picture of business and financial strategy, rather than the human resources knowledge I already had.”
Kraynak completed the online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Specialization in Healthcare Management program at Youngstown State University (YSU) in August 2021.
“I had looked around at what other online programs were out there, but I liked the courses and content that YSU offered,” she said. “It was what I was looking for in an MBA program.
“The program format met me where I was in life. I was still able to be a full-time employee and be a student. And I felt like a traditional student — it wasn’t like being a part-timer.”
Kraynak is a workforce systems analyst for Wolfspeed based out of the Pittsburgh area. She started with the company the same month she graduated from YSU, but she worked full time throughout her 12 months as a student in the program.
“There were some long nights and weekends, but I still had a work, life and school balance,” she said. “The online MBA program was flexible. My first master’s degree was also online, so I was already pretty comfortable with the format.”
Kraynak grew up in the Baltimore area. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 2011, followed by a master’s degree in instructional systems development three years later. Both degrees are from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
“My first master’s degree came about because of an internship I had on campus,” she said. “It sparked my interest in human resources and technology. It evolved from there.”
Over the past ten years, Kraynak has worked in a variety of human resources and technology consulting roles. She enrolled at YSU in August 2020.
“I have been able to apply what I learned in the MBA program to my work,” she said. “Every once in a while, I can say, ‘I learned about that.’ Which is awesome.”
Planning and Fiscal Management in Health and Human Services was Kraynak’s favorite course in the online MBA in Healthcare Management curriculum.
“It was later in the program, so it pulled together a lot of different aspects that we learned in earlier classes,” she said. “That course was a great way to see it all come together.”
Kraynak didn’t have to wait long for the MBA to pay off with a new job. She believes the degree will continue to enhance her career.
“I’d love to stay in human resources and be more of a strategic partner for the business,” she said.
“Having this MBA will help open up more opportunities for me in my career. The program was incredibly valuable — and then some.”
Throughout the 12 months of Kraynak’s enrollment in the online MBA program at YSU, she had a lot of encouragement, even though she already had one master’s degree.
Kraynak also appreciated the assistance of the faculty and staff members at YSU as she completed her second master’s degree journey.
“Everybody was great about getting back to me quickly any time I had a question,” she said. “We had a couple of different mediums to reach faculty, and they were always very responsive.
She also has some words of wisdom for potential students in the online MBA in Healthcare Management program.
“As an online student, you don’t have a classroom to go to, so my best advice is stay motivated and stay organized,” she said. “If one of those breaks down, you’re in trouble.”
With two master’s degrees under her belt, Kraynak is eager to see what the future holds. But, no matter what happens, she has a lot to be proud of.
“One takeaway from the program that I had was, ‘Be comfortable challenging yourself,'” she said. “I was a sociology major, so I never thought I could get through an MBA program. It was rewarding to see myself challenged and succeed.”
Learn more about YSU’s online MBA in Healthcare Management program.