Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor Alumni, Elaine Ruh, shares her experience in the MBA program. Take a look at how Elaine was able to use her life experience to get more out of her MBA program and reach her goals.
Tell us about yourself.
Hi, I’m Elaine Ruh, and I graduated from Concordia’s MBA program with a concentration in human resources. I have an associate’s degree from UW Fox Valley and a bachelor’s from UW-Oshkosh in human resources. I also obtained my PHR and the SHRM certification. Currently, I am the Director of Human Resources at Fox Valley Metal Tech.
Outside of work, I’m on the Board of Directors for Fox Valley SHRM, helping HR Professionals within the Fox Valley for the past 6 years.
Why did you choose Concordia?
My story is unique; I was bored at my job and wanted more. Deciding to pursue my MBA, I came across CUWAA. I met with an admissions counselor where I learned about the flexibility of the MBA program. This allowed me to maintain my schedule in my home life and the volunteer positions I had.
The hybrid approach gave me the chance to take classes online or in person. Almost all the classes were at night so I could still work my full-time job.
Additionally, I appreciated the Christian approach. Although I’m not religious, the faith components helped me keep an open mind for others and their stories.
What was your favorite thing about the program?
What I liked the most was one of the first classes I had the professor stated, “You have a full-time job, I have a full-time job. You have a family, I have a family. You have hobbies, I have hobbies. You want to be here, I want to be here. This class will be strategic to help push you mentally and not drain you with excessive papers, exams, readings, etc. What we will discuss is something you can actually relate to and implement.”
After that, I was sold for the rest of the program. Some professors did have a more intense syllabus, but for the most part, it was manageable and still very impactful.
Would you recommend our MBA to others? Why?
Yes! I already do tell others. First, I love that the classes are small. A few of us that started together actually graduated together, which I feel is harder in an MBA program.
Second, I liked having real-life projects and examples. During classes, we could use and apply concepts to real-life problems in our workplace. This helped us to better understand what we were learning.
Finally, the professors were awesome. I could tell they wanted to be there and were invested in helping us learn. The staff too was always helpful with all my questions, which believe me – I had a ton being a return student years after my BBA.
What do you like to do for fun?
For fun, I enjoy listening to audiobooks while commuting for work. I’m also a hobby photographer and I assist my husband in his business. I have a 7-year-old son, Maddox, who has Cystic Fibrosis. I’m a Co-Captain for the Advocacy Districts in WI, which means I meet with elected officials in WI and DC to tell Maddox’s story.
Any advice for future students?
Honestly, I’m glad I worked in the real world after my undergrad. If I would’ve jumped into my MBA, like I wanted to after graduation, I wouldn’t have appreciated the professors and what I received in these classes.
Thankfully, I was able to work with my employer to help with the costs of the program. The flexibility of classes fit within my work schedule. I just really enjoyed the program.