Winter 2016-17

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Journey Toward Leadership

How Janet Maguire’s MBA impacted her career and inspired her to give back.

By Ann Swardlick

Why would a career nurse in a leadership position decide to add the challenges of an online MBA program to her already over-committed work week? Ask Janet Maguire RN, BSN, MBA ’15.

A nursing director with over 30 years of experience at Maine Medical Center, Maguire was more than ready for an educational experience outside of nursing. “Health care can give you tunnel vision,” she says, only half-joking. “I knew there were skills and knowledge I didn’t have that would be helpful in my job.” She also knew she could handle the extra work as long as she could pace it out over several years.

Maguire chose Saint Joseph’s online MBA program because it was flexible, highly regarded, and “frankly didn’t require statistics!” She was impressed by the diversity of students, the Socratic approach to learning, and the ability to focus her program around her personal goals and career interests. Also a plus: Maine Medical Center’s education partnership with Saint Joseph’s, which offered reduced tuition.

“I wasn’t sure about distance learning,” she says, “but what I discovered was a real sense of community. Even though I might have been at home, sitting in my pajamas with my computer in my lap, I felt like we were all in dialogue together.”

Maguire also valued the input from her fellow classmates: “There were artists, bankers, musicians and others in my online classes whose diverse perspectives really made it a fuller experience.”

Saint Joseph’s MBA program is notable for its strong focus on leadership development. Early on, a course in self-leadership caused Maguire to rethink her career direction. “I realized that effective leaders pay attention to maintaining balance in their own lives. After years of 50 to 60-hour work weeks, I decided it was time for a change.” 

So Maguire transitioned to a new position as clinical risk coordinator at Maine Med. “My current job provides more balance and more learning, and has allowed me to put into practice new skills and knowledge.”

Another course in styles of leadership resonated strongly as well. “Learning about the concept of servant leadership put a voice and framework to my own philosophy. For me, servant leadership is not about being in the limelight. Instead your goal is to enhance other people’s ability to learn and achieve. Empowering others is how I get my kicks!”

In spring 2015, Maguire attended Commencement and met some of her fellow MBA students for the first time. “They were just the same in person,” she laughs. The experience of being on campus for graduation reinforced her sense of personal accomplishment. “It was a busy four years, working and pursuing a degree, but coming out the other end I felt: Look what I did!”

Her satisfaction with the online MBA program, and its impact on her career, inspired Janet Maguire to make a gift to the College this year. “I wanted to give back to the community, in whatever small way I could.”

“It ties in with the philosophy at Saint Joseph’s,” she explains. “This is a college that encourages generosity, encourages students to be involved in whatever way they can, to be engaged in the world. I feel very strongly about that.”

Learn more about SJC's online MBA program.