Toledo resident Christine Burt and her relatives are birds of a feather.
The Cleveland area native is carrying on a strong tradition as a student in the online Master of Business Administration program at Bowling Green State University (BGSU).
“I come from a family of Falcons,” she said. “I have three siblings who all went to BGSU. My brother also got his master’s degree there, and my niece is currently enrolled and graduating this August.”
Burt, who is the Northeast site manager for the Wood County Committee on Aging in Walbridge, also graduated with a bachelor’s degree in gerontology from the university in 2015.
“I always wanted to go back to school, and my grandma, Shirley Horwatt, encouraged me to do it,” Burt said. “When the pandemic hit, BGSU dropped the GRE requirement and waived the application fee, so I thought I would give it a shot. What’s the worst that could happen?
“Now, here I am, back in school and thankful for the opportunity to be able to further my education.”
Earning a graduate degree is not the only major milestone in Burt’s life over the last year. She and her now-husband, Trevor, married in October 2020.
“I like the online format because of the flexibility with my homework and the coursework,” she said. “I have to make sure I have the time management skills to get everything done.
“It also allowed me to take a semester off for my wedding and be able to pick right back up the following semester. We had a big wedding planned, but we ended up doing an elegant backyard wedding at my parents’ house because of the pandemic.”
Burt has been in her current role since May 2019, having worked in an assisted living community as a program manager prior to that.
“I have always wanted to work with older adults, and I knew that I wanted to help people,” she said. “Once I was in the bachelor’s degree program and started volunteering with older adults, I knew that’s what I wanted to do for a career.
“I like hearing their life stories and how we can improve their overall health and well-being by finding the resources needed and being their advocate.”
She has enjoyed the perspective shift and the opportunity to broaden her business acumen in the online MBA program.
“I am a fan of the Supply Chain Management class,” she said. “That was something new to me. It has been interesting to learn about that process.
“I enjoyed how it focused on the pandemic and how everything was skewed because there were shortages and interruptions in the supply chain. The classes helped me understand things better.”
Burt looks forward to learning about other aspects of business in the remainder of the courses in the curriculum. She enrolled in the program in Spring 2020.
“I am excited to see what’s to come,” she said. “A lot of my focus so far has been supply chain management.
“Now, I am getting into accounting and finance, so it is an exciting time. I was challenged by it in undergrad, but this time around, I am doing much better.”
With an anticipated graduation date of August 2022, Burt looks forward to returning to the stage to participate in a second commencement ceremony at BGSU.
“Of course, I’ll be there,” she said. “I have worked hard, and it is something that I am proud of. Plus, there’s something magical about BGSU graduations.”
On that day, Burt will have quite a proud cheering section, which just might be sporting BGSU brown and orange.
“My family and friends are excited,” she said. “My husband has been my rock. He is working extra hard around the house. He learned to cook, and he helps take care of our dog. Everybody is supportive. I have a lot to be thankful for.”
As she progresses through the coursework that will result in an MBA, Burt is optimistic about her future.
“Using what I learned in the program will open doors,” she said. “Working with older adults and in the community helped me build leadership skills and in-depth understanding of customer service. The MBA program is helping me further broaden these skill sets.”
In addition to earning an MBA at her alma mater, Burt has taken advantage of the extra time over the last year to focus on herself.
“The pandemic has been a game-changer,” she said. “Even though I started school, I also started working on my health and overall well-being. My health was never really a priority before, but now I exercise, eat healthy and ensure that I am taking the time to take care of myself.”
Burt took a few online courses as an undergrad, so she was ready to become an online student. She believes the key to success is simple.
“Manage your time,” she said. “Especially working full time, you have to figure out what works best and how you can schedule your day. I have certain days I dedicate to school, but I also have time dedicated to my family. It’s been a great experience.”
Learn more about BGSU’s online MBA program.