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Student Spotlight: Keri Croy, MBA-Organizational Development

Big things await ACU Online student Keri Croy, a talented and passionate payroll specialist. She’s currently pursuing her MBA in hopes of scoring a promotion — but along the way, she’s gaining so much more. In addition to benefiting from the business curriculum of her MBA program, she’s learning about Christ-centered leadership, which she hopes will shine through as she climbs the career ladder in the secular world.

A Gratifying Academic Journey

Keri has an extensive history with online education. She initially pursued a conventional postsecondary education, but everything changed when she fell in love and got married. She admits that, after three years of undergrad, life happened. After taking a break for well over a decade, she returned in hopes of obtaining her degree — this time from an online program. To make good on this goal, she attended the University of Oklahoma and graduated in 2017. Finishing her degree wasn’t easy, but it was something she “had to do; a box I had to check off.”

Following graduation, Keri promptly enrolled with ACU Online. Her undergraduate degree was something she felt she needed to do to please her parents, but pursuing her master’s degree is something she’s doing for herself. She figured it was best to jump right back in, as her last break from education had lasted far longer than she’d anticipated.

While Keri initially began her MBA in hopes of moving up another rung or two on the career ladder, she has since realized that the program imparts far more benefits than she anticipated. Many of these are personal. For example, her recent academic endeavors have helped her gain new confidence in her abilities as a leader.

A critical component of Keri’s increased confidence: her strong relationships with her professors, who she connects with on a deeper level now that her studies take place online.

Previously, she was a “back row person,” who would sneak in and sneak out, never actually building a rapport with her professors or fellow students. That has all changed since she enrolled at ACU Online. She’s grateful for the program’s hands-on approach, which allows her to take an active role in her education while also granting the flexibility needed to keep up with her busy life.

The Value of a Christian Perspective

Besides flexibility and hands-on learning, Keri most appreciates ACU’s faith-based perspective. Having completed her undergraduate education with a secular program, she realizes the value that lies in a Christian education. She thinks of it as getting two educations in one — gaining the skills needed to advance professionally and growing in her faith. These lessons in faith will continue to influence her long after she’s graduated; she has already learned “how to apply Biblical knowledge into secular work.”

Family Matters

A proud mother of two adorable children (currently in kindergarten and second grade), Keri is eager to set an example for her kids. She’s a first-generation college graduate and her husband is a first-generation high school graduate — and both are determined to set their children on the right path. Academia is currently a family affair, with both Keri and her husband drawing support and encouragement from loved ones as she pursues her MBA with ACU Online and he pursues his doctorate through another university.

Between school, work, and raising a family, Keri has a lot on her plate. But she knows the hard work will pay off not only with future professional opportunities, but also greater self-confidence and, of course, a stronger faith to get her through life’s challenges.

It’s tough to maintain a routine while juggling so many moving parts, but Keri makes it look effortless. She wakes up at 6 am every morning to get her kids ready and send them to school. From there, she heads to work at the school district. She squeezes in webinars and studying when she gets the chance — often at the coffee shop. Sometimes, however, she’ll stay up late to study as her kids sleep. If that’s not enough, her in-laws recently moved in. The entire family catches up over dinner. Family time is crucial to Keri, something that could easily be compromised if she sought her graduate education elsewhere.

Keri is the perfect example of what can be accomplished with hard work, passion, and faith. She gives a lot of credit to the staff and students of ACU, explaining that the online program is “allowing [her] the opportunity to become the strong leader” that she wants and needs to be.

Inspired by Keri’s story? A Master of Business Administration degree from ACU Online could be in your future. Learn more about ACU’s MBA program and all available concentrations.

For more information on how ACU Online can help you pursue your career goals and strengthen your faith, contact us at 855.219.7300 or acu.edu/online.

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