What Students and Alumni Say About the MAL Program

What factors steered you toward leadership?

“To become a strong, more conscious leader”

Anne Rodenberg

“Studying leadership at the graduate level builds upon my professional experience gained in 17 years of working in communications and marketing. I’ve had the opportunity to lead many projects and teams, and augmenting that experience with formal leadership training will help me become a stronger, more ‘conscious’ leader in the future. I enjoy learning about the qualities of a good leader and aspire to incorporate more of them into my own style.”
– Anne Rodenberg

“To know myself better”

Shawntan Howell

“I got my BA in computer science and statistics, and right after graduation I went into the workforce. After 13 years and two companies, I found myself frustrated with where I was in my career. At that point, I realized that in order to better understand where I want my career to go, I needed to better understand me. I knew I had leadership qualities, but I wanted to find my niche and be able to communicate that clearly and with confidence. Therefore, I chose to go back to school to start on my personal improvement journey.”
– Shawntan Howell

“To help move the world to a better place”

Edward Matchett

“I’d say a sense of altruism and a desire to move the world toward a better place in whatever capacity I could be most effective. Knowing that our society and our organizations are only as effective as the people that comprise them, I sought to cultivate the experiences and education I would need to help steer whatever organization I happened to occupy to higher ground.“
– Edward Matchett

“The desire to attain an advanced degree”

Jocelyn Beard

“The desire to attain an advanced degree was strong for me when I applied to the MAL program because most individuals in the organization I worked for, at the time, held Master’s degrees. I felt like I would not be able to move forward in my career or have any bargaining leverage if I didn’t pursue it at that time.”
–Jocelyn Beard

Why did you consider the MAL program at Augsburg?

“Because of the people who were attending”

David Limberg

“I looked into several other programs both big and small. They all had positive aspects to them, but when I visited Augsburg for the first time it was different. I discovered the program was a format that fit with my work and life schedule. I felt like I belonged at Augsburg not only because of the curriculum, but more importantly because of the people who were attending and facilitating the session.”
– David Limberg

“Augsburg is a diverse and tolerant place”

“As a full-time working mom of young twins, I appreciate the flexibility of the MAL program. With the traditional, non-cohort model, I can take one class at a time and don’t feel like I’m in a pressure-cooker to finish the degree in a set, two-year timeframe. I also like that Augsburg is a diverse and tolerant place, rooted in Christian values that place service at the forefront of the student experience. Finally, I find Augsburg accessible, affordable, friendly and easy to navigate online and on-campus.”
– Anne Rodenberg

What practical benefits did you get from your leadership studies?

“To lead our organization in a values and vision exercise”

Tom Larson

“I will provide a real life example. We were studying Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline. I was researching how a leader effectively creates a vision AND then implements that corporately in a ‘shared vision.’ Much of my research centered on the importance of finding common ground between individual values and corporate values. One aspect of my research was to interview individual leaders, so I approached my current boss who also happened to be the founder of a little start-up company at the time, called Capella University. After the interview, my boss (who also was a former CEO at a Fortune 500 company), asked me to lead our organization in a values and vision exercise. Not only was this a practical benefit from my studies, but it also was one of those moments that really validated the importance of leadership and the impact it has on an organization.”
– Tom Larson

“I consistently employ qualities of the Augsburg leadership model”

“There is not a day that goes by that I don’t use something I learned in the MAL program. As a leader of a work team at a Fortune 50 company, I consistently employ qualities of the Augsburg leadership model. That includes striving to be an effective listener, using analytical techniques, or being flexible in approaching any problem that arises in the work place.”
–David Limberg

“Each class has added a tool or concept to my leadership toolbox”

“Each class has added a tool or concept to my leadership toolbox. I think the leadership studies that forced me to look authentically within myself have been the most helpful and impactful.”
–Jocelyn Beard

“The knowledge gained thus far has opened my eyes to a new world around me”

“The knowledge gained thus far has opened my eyes to a new world around me. It has given me insight into how Corporate America operates and how to play my role not only in the continued advancement of the company but also for myself as leader. I feel comfortable using the skills learned to stay true to myself and my belief system in the process, all of which I used quite often.”
-Shawntan Howell

“I found myself becoming more effective at my job”

“At first I wasn’t sure how such an abstract liberal arts curriculum could offer tangible benefits, but then I began to see the results showing up in my work life. I’ve found myself becoming more effective at my job as I progressed in the program. The portability and applicability of the MAL skill set is unmatched, in my opinion.”
–Edward Matchett

“A possible bridge to a new career”

“I am pursuing the MAL program as a way to enhance my professional development and as a possible bridge to a new career. Overall, the MAL program has helped me realize that leadership is not about position but rather about individual responsibility to influence positive change in whatever role we might serve.”
– Anne Rodenberg

Did your employer recognize your studies in leadership or the accomplishment of a master’s degree?

“MAL opened doors I did not even know existed”

“Yes, my MAL opened doors I did not even know existed. From a professional standpoint, a few years after completing my MAL program, I decided it was time to seek another position. During this process I was interviewed for multiple vice president/director level positions in my field and had the luxury of weighing multiple offers and choosing the one that was the best fit for me and my family.”
–Tom Larson

“I think my employer was impressed that I sought a degree that is both practical and distinctive”

“Yes, I think my employer was impressed that I sought a degree that is both practical and distinctive. The MAL offers a whole distinct paradigm as a means to approach management, which extends far beyond the confines of business. For those individuals like me who are interested in nonprofit and government work, the value is particularly great.”
–Edward Matchett