Lauren Kirk is a Rowan Global student earning her Master of Business Administration. She also serves on the Rohrer Graduate Student and Alumni Advisory Board (RGSAAB), which aims to enhance the student and alumni experience through networking, seminars and industry nights. Here, Lauren shares her story about being a career woman, a mother and a student all at the same time.
Although Lauren is already working as a Credit Portfolio Manager at TD Bank, she is in pursuit of continuing her education and growing professionally. Her motivation comes from her goals within her career.
“In a male-dominated industry, I want to be a competitive counterpart. I have many years of professional experience, but an MBA will set me apart from others,” she says.
Working toward this goal isn’t always easy, as one can imagine. Lauren faces some unique challenges, being a mother and a businesswoman.
“I work over 40 hours a week at my job with TD Bank while also keeping up with classes. Since I take 8-week classes, the coursework is really fast-paced. If I don’t do schoolwork every day, I risk falling behind. It’s also really difficult to take time for myself and create boundaries. Work and school are very demanding so I’m always worried about devoting enough time to my kids, but I know I’m doing it all for them and our family,” she explains.
Lauren talked about why she chose to earn her MBA at Rowan. “Rowan has such a positive repertoire, especially in South Jersey. I work with people who went to Rowan and had positive experiences. It was a cost-competitive program, which was also important to me.”
She adds, “What really set Rowan apart was how fast and easy it was to talk to someone. Rather than getting an email, I got a phone call; this showed me I wasn’t a number, I was a person. Jason Salvatore, the Program Coordinator of Graduate Studies, has been so helpful with my situation as a career woman and mother.”
Currently, Lauren is using her professional work experience to help her complete coursework. “My work experience has actually helped me with school assignments. Since I’m currently working in the corporate world, I use those experiences. As a Credit Portfolio Manager, I deal with commercial lending. This can be anything from businesses needing loans to real-estate loans, municipality, educational loans, and other complex deals. With that being said, an MBA would help me get to my goal position of Head of Credit Management or a Commercial Credit Manager.”
Lauren offers some advice to other adult learners like herself. “I want a woman like me, that feels like they can’t earn a degree while working and being a mother, to know that they can. It may not happen overnight, but don’t let anything stop you because a school like Rowan will help you through — they understand and support non-traditional learners.”
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Loredonna Fiore, senior public relations and advertising major
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