When COVID-19 shut down the world, Michaela Young sprung into action.
“I had only been out of college for my undergraduate degree for a couple of years, and I figured I should go back while I am still young,” she said. “Then, the pandemic happened. Since I was at home, I figured it was the perfect time to go back to school since I couldn’t go out anyway.”
Young completed the online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Specialization in Leadership program at Youngstown State University (YSU) in August 2021.
“I had been thinking about getting my MBA for a while,” she said. “It’s not necessarily something I need right now for my career, but I figured that it will be something I need down the road to advance in the company and obtain a leadership position.”
Young is a global travel senior analyst at Cardinal Health in the Columbus area. She has worked for the same company in various roles for five years. The online format helped her maintain her job while earning a degree in 12 months.
“It was very flexible, which was nice because I work full time,” she said. “It was convenient to do everything at home.
“It was honestly the perfect schedule for me. I loved it. It was my first time doing online classes, so it was a learning experience. I took to it quickly.”
After researching online MBA programs, Young found what she was looking for with the leadership specialization.
“I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go,” she said. “But after talking to a couple of the academic advisers at Youngstown State, it sounded like the best program for me.”
Young is from the Cleveland area. She ran cross country and track in high school and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Operations and Supply Chain Management from the University of Dayton in 2017.
“After graduation, I didn’t know if I wanted to go back home [or] try a new state,” she said. “I reached out to a couple of people I know who worked at Cardinal Health to get an idea of what they did. My job fell into my lap and worked out well. I am happy where I am at now.”
Even though she wasn’t out of school long before enrolling at YSU two years ago, the experience of earning a master’s degree online was much different for Young than her previous one.
“I took a lot away from it,” she said. “When I was in college for undergrad, there are classes you have to get through to get your degree.
“With the MBA, it was something I wanted to do. I was passionate about all of the courses. I learned a lot because I truly wanted to.”
Young has been able to apply the information that she learned in the online MBA in Leadership program to her career regularly.
“There were some courses I had to get through like accounting and finance, but I learned a lot in them,” she said. “There were also a lot of things I remembered from my undergraduate program, so that was very helpful to me, too.”
Plus, the YSU faculty and staff members supported Young throughout her time in the program.
“Everyone was helpful,” she said. “At the beginning, my academic adviser reached out several times to make sure everything was going okay.”
Young’s family is chock full of fans of advanced education, and she had a lot of encouragement from them as she returned to higher education. Several of her family members also have master’s degrees.
“They were very excited and supportive,” she said. “My dad, Bill, and the rest of my family are huge Ohio State University fans. He was excited with [former OSU football head coach] Jim Tressel at Youngstown as the president. They all know YSU, too.”
Young believes that having an MBA in Leadership provides a solid foundation for her to build on for the rest of her career.
“I want to move into a management position someday,” she said. “I currently manage travel for our employees, which I love…I want to become a people leader in the future, so what I learned in the leadership course is something I can use to work toward that goal.”
Now that she has emerged from the pandemic with a master’s degree, Young is glad that she committed the time and effort into a valuable investment for her future while stuck at home.
“The MBA program at YSU was very valuable,” she said. “I have already recommended the program to a couple of people.”
Learn more about YSU’s online MBA in Leadership program.