Master of Business Administration, 2012
"The online courses at Ashford enabled me to continue working, research topics, and meet people from all over the world."
Leslie Ann Lance, 56 and of Waterford, MI, has spent the past three decades working for a major national newspaper in a multitude of positions. She praises the company for giving her many opportunities to learn and grow, both professionally and personally. However, being no different from other newspapers facing a rough economy and declining membership in this technology-focused age, the organization began consolidating their operations as early as 2005, and layoffs continued to increase throughout the rest of the decade. In order to prepare herself for her own potential dismissal, Leslie decided it was time to go back to school.
She had previously earned her Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Walsh College in 1997. One of the reasons she settled on Ashford University for her Master’s degree was because she could enroll in a condensed program that would enable her to complete her course work in only a year and a half. She says, “Sometimes it was overwhelming and I felt like I wanted to quit, but I remember telling my children that once you start a project and we have paid for it, you have to see it through to the end. I am glad I stuck it out, because it felt really great to graduate.”
Leslie believes some of Ashford’s best qualities include pleasant staff advisors, accessible faculty members, and user-friendly online research tools. She says, “The faculty participation in the weekly discussions really helped steer the class towards greater understanding of the topics at hand. The online courses at Ashford enabled me to continue working, research topics, and meet people from all over the world. The entire experience of earning my Master’s degree made me more aware of the business world, various government interferences, and cultural differences. It has also made me appreciate my time more, as well as helped me gain a greater respect for management and the decisions they make to keep a company profitable.”
Although now back in her home state of Michigan, Leslie previously lived in the small town of Alconbury, England for about four years while her husband, Rick, served in the Air Force. Then, she took the opportunity to join a business delegation to China after being invited by the International Scholarship Laureate Program (ISLP). “It was an amazing experience. I encourage anyone and everyone who receives an invitation to join the ISLP on a tour of a foreign country to jump at the opportunity.”
Leslie graduated from Ashford as a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society. She says, “My husband insisted we attend my commencement ceremony. He has always been my biggest fan.” Leslie hopes her success at Ashford inspires her son and daughter to further their education as well. She encourages perspective students to, “Give it a try! The knowledge you gain may help you acquire the career you have been searching for.”