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Part of Western Governors University

March 18, 2019

Student Success , Business

Walking the walk.

WGU Texas grad and employee Kristian Fitzgerald shares her experience.

WGU Texas celebrated International Women’s Day by highlighting one of our own. Kristian Fitzgerald is a WGU Texas alumna and Strategic Partnerships Manager. Over the course of six years she worked to spread the word about our degree programs throughout the Houston area, but like many students, she felt she “needed more” and wanted something that would support her goals.

In this interview, Kristian talks about her WGU experience as a wife, new mother and full-time employee, and what it really took for her to earn a master’s degree.

After years of talking about how great WGU Texas is, Kristian decided to put her words into action. She enrolled in WGU’s College of Business and earned a master’s degree.

WGU Texas Chancellor Johnson with graduate and employee Kristian Fitzgerald.

“As an adult learner and employee, I wanted to walk the walk and talk the talk,” she said, “I knew that it would be really beneficial in my career.”

Kristian held a bachelor’s degree in management so she wanted a program that would complement her undergrad. She picked the M.S. Management and Leadership program because she liked the psychology side of learning how to lead, “it was more interesting … than just a straight MBA so I wanted that specialty.”

During her experience, Kristian became a new mother and at times found it difficult to continue her program. “I have to say the mentors are my favorite, they really kept me off the ledge a few times,” she said. Kristian’s mentors would not give up and helped her all the way to the end.

Kristian said the biggest differences between WGU Texas and other universities are the learning platform and its competency-based model. She said the online format’s one-on-one instruction meant every outcome depended on her alone. “I had to put in the work,” Kristian said, “it’s not group-learning, it’s all on me!” She said the competency-based model was sometimes challenging as it required a thorough understanding of the material to progress through the program. “You have to learn the material to pass, it’s a B or better. It’s not just sliding by.”

Her long-term goals are to remain in higher education, “I’m a big believer in it,” she said. “I love helping people change their lives, it’s a good feeling.” Kristian hopes her degree will take her to a leadership role within her department and possibly open doors for her to become a mentor for other students.

Watch the full interview below. If you are ready to start your own educational journey to complete your degree, visit texas.wgu.edu for more information.

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