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College Mentors Provide Crucial Support as Personal Champions for Students

Jan 27, 2023

When she started out as a nurse almost 30 years ago, Krista Bradley of Denver, CO wasn’t sure she ever envisioned a career in business, but that is just where her career led her.

As an executive at a large healthcare organization, Bradley was overseeing research operations and over her career had supervised others with advanced and terminal degrees and she always knew it would be a good idea to complete her Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) degree and possibly an advanced degree to expand her skill set and to get to the next level in her career.

With the encouragement of her boss and the support of her family, she decided to go back to school.

She explored many options but found the programs at WGU more flexible, affordable, and efficient for her busy lifestyle as a mom and a business leader. Plus, she was immediately connected with a WGU program mentor, Jen Siebert, who provided constant support along the way.

According to a 2021 study by Inside HigherEd, 64% of students who felt extremely certain of post-graduation goals had a college mentor.

“Even with my years of experience, the classes were challenging,” said Bradley. “Having a mentor like Jen was so valuable. It was nice to know that I had that extra accountability to get through the self-paced program.

With WGU’s Competency-Based Education model, Bradley was able to swiftly move through her Bachelor of Nursing degree program thanks to her many years of clinical experience. She then promptly begin work toward an M.B.A. in Healthcare Management, but it was the mentor support that she credits for her success.

“We had regular calls to discuss the demanding nature of the coursework and how to stay on top of the schedule in order to not fall behind,” said Bradley. “She helped me visualize what the next few years would look like and to see myself completing my goals.”

At WGU, every incoming student is assigned a program mentor who provides extra support, guidance, and mentorship to help them complete their studies.

“I have plenty of students, like teachers and nurses, who want to do more in their careers. Especially in healthcare, experience is really important but having a business degree on top of that opens up so many more opportunities,” said Siebert. “A WGU M.B.A. gives students, like Krista, the foundational skills needed to succeed anywhere.

The highly individualized support students receive from WGU mentors includes schedule creation, recommendations on time and study management, and being a personal champion for the student.

“It was nice having that additional person in my corner from beginning to end,” said Bradley. “Jen definitely made a huge difference for me being able to complete the program while juggling other demanding responsibilities.”

After earning her M.B.A. from WGU, Bradley was contacted regarding a job opening at [BK1] a leading global provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions, and clinical research services, where she has worked for the past year and a half.

“I am quite certain that without an M.B.A., I may not have been considered for my current position,” said Bradley. “I wasn’t just able to grow in my career, but it means a lot to me to accomplish this personal goal and I am grateful for the family, professional, and WGU mentor support I received along the way.”

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