Alumna Stephanie Shaw Adds MBA in Healthcare Administration to Resume

After working for an investment firm for eight years, Stephanie Shaw was eager for a change.

“I needed something new and different,” she said. “I saw an operations opening on Indeed for a company where one of my best friends, Kalie Popp, works.

“I texted her and said, ‘Too bad I don’t have an MBA. It’s a requirement for the job.’ She called me and told me to apply.”

Shaw landed the position and enrolled in the online Master of Business Administration with a Healthcare Administration Concentration program at Eastern Washington University (EWU). She completed the program in March 2021.

“I wanted something more than my bachelor’s degree,” she said. “It was a passion of mine. The MBA helped set me apart from others and brought my skill set to a whole new level.”

Now closing in on her two-year work anniversary as an operations administrator at Dr. C Family Dentistry in Spokane, Washington, Shaw is thankful for the incentive to return to higher education.

“You learn how businesses work from the bottom up in undergrad, but this program makes you look at it from the top down,” she said.

“When you’re in a management position, you have to be able to do both. You have to be able to see what your team sees, but you also have to look at things from another direction.”

Earning a degree online was key for Shaw, who works full time. In addition, she and her husband, Bill, have three children — Taylor (8), Cole (6) and Olivia (3).

“It’s so nice as a working mom with three little kids to be able to do everything, and then to do school on my own time,” she said. “My husband, who also works, is finishing up his Ph.D.

“The flexibility of the online format is huge. I could still enjoy my kids. When they went to bed, it was me time. During that period, school was my me time. I did two classes at a time during COVID-19 to hunker down and get it done.”

Tooth and Nail

Shaw was born and raised in Spokane. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance with an economics minor from EWU in 2008. Shaw then worked for the school as a confidential administrative assistant for two-and-a-half years.

“I wanted to do a master’s degree when I worked at EWU,” she said. “When I took a position outside of the university, I stopped planning on that. I got the desire and itch to go back and do it. I am glad that I did.

“I looked at a couple of other MBA programs, but EWU made it so easy. It was also affordable, which was another great aspect. Plus, I was familiar with the school.”

Two of the courses in the online MBA in Healthcare Administration program curriculum stood out to Shaw.

“I loved Leadership and Ethics because it made you look at different businesses and people, how they lead and what they do to set themselves apart. It was fun to research that.”

Plus, Shaw especially enjoyed having Dr. Lynn Anidi as a professor for two of the courses in the program.

“Dr. Anidi was amazing,” Shaw said. “She gave great, constructive feedback and was involved in [discussion forum] posts. It made me love the classes.”

Crowning Achievement

Throughout her 15 months in the master’s degree program, Shaw had plenty of encouragement from her family and friends.

“They were excited about it,” she said. “My husband was very proud. He wanted me to go back to school for a master’s degree for a long time. The commencement ceremony was virtual. My kids watched it with me.”

Shaw is in a good place in her life now. She loves what she does, and she would like to someday write a book about her experiences. She envisions herself working on the business side of a hospital, possibly in finance. With a master’s degree under her belt, she knows that her goals are now within reach.

“You have to have discipline and be willing to work nights and weekends on the program,” she said. “The MBA has 100% opened up career opportunities for me, and it will continue to do so in the future.”

Learn more about EWU’s online MBA in Healthcare Administration program.

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