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I don’t know too many people who haven’t been rethinking almost everything since the pandemic started. For Angie Kurosaka, like many others, that self-reflection led her to go back to school. Since the fall of 2020, this seasoned healthcare professional has been studying at the University of North Alabama (UNA) for her Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA). Keep reading to find out why she chose to do this now, and how you can, too.
Meet Angie Kurosaka
Originally from Waterloo, Alabama, Angie Kurosaka is a registered nurse who got her nursing license via an associate degree in Alabama, then left for nine years. During that time, she met and married her husband. Back in 1999, they moved to Chelsea, in the Birmingham area, and have lived there since. Together, they have two adult children.
By age 15, Kurosaka knew she wanted to be a Director of Nursing. 18 years into her career, she was running a division with dialysis clinics in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana with 900 employees under her.
Then the company she was working for sold and a new, female boss said “Angie, you’re one of the smartest operators that I’ve ever worked with. You’re a nurse and you’re an operator. That’s a unique combination. But nobody will ever take you seriously because you don’t have the credentials behind your name.”
The quest for credentials
Fast forward to 2021, and Angie now has “DNP, RN, CNN, CCM *and* NEA-BC” behind her name (don’t even ask me what those mean). One day, her LinkedIn profile will also say Executive MBA.
Now, she serves as VP of Healthcare Services for Passport Health Plan by Molina Healthcare, based in Louisville, Kentucky. While she’s developed significant expertise in her field, Angie knew that the MBA was important for her to continue to move forward in her career.
“Having an MBA and certainly an Executive MBA adds more legitimacy to what I do today and what I may decide to do in the future. I’m an operator, a nurse and a nurse executive, and I understand business as well. ”
What Kurosaka likes about the EMBA program at UNA
Kurosaka really likes how the program is organized and how flexible it is. Some highlights:
- Each core MBA classe is eight weeks. To balance out other commitments, she’s taking one course per semester, which means at the end of each semester, she’s done with that one and can move on. But participants can take as many classes as they like.
- The program is 100% remote, and online learning is easy to fit into a busy schedule.
- The classes are very flexible with a couple of general business prerequisites that lay a foundation for the rest of the program.
Lifelong learning with UNA’s Executive MBA
I was particularly curious to find out, since Kurosaka already had studied and achieved so much in her career, if she’s learned anything new so far. Here’s what she said:
“I thought that I knew a lot about leadership since I’ve been a leader for such a very long time. But then when I took the leadership course in the program, it gave me some insight into how I respond as a leader. This was very relevant, given all the change that everyone is experiencing now, as a result of the pandemic.”
There’s still time for Alabama football
Angie Kurosaka and her family are huge Alabama football fans. Two of her degrees are from Alabama, one of her daughters graduated from there and one is a current student. Day trips and hanging out with friends are regular features of football season.
Favorite travel destinations
To wrap things up, I asked Kurosaka about some of the favorite places she and her husband have visited on their global travels. “Greece and Tokyo,” she told me.