Erin McNamara '20
Master's of Strategic Leadership
While it’s not as common as an MBA, Mount Mercy and Erin McNamara ’20 agree that a Master’s of Strategic Leadership is very applicable to a variety of professions. McNamara is about to graduate from the MSL program and has gained many valuable lessons throughout her coursework.
MMU: What initially attracted you to Mount Mercy’s MSL program?
EM: I was attracted to the program because of the theme of leadership. I felt that the program would give me a great foundation for future growth. Secondly, because I had just finished my MBA, it was only a few more classes to add this program of study. Hard to resist that!
"I felt that the program would give me a great foundation for future growth."
MMU: Do you feel that the MSL program is preparing you to advance in your career?
EM: Oh absolutely! During class, many of the subjects related to situation that were happening in my workplace. It was very easy to draw from real life examples and then carry this information to the workplace.
MMU: What does a Mount Mercy education mean to you?
EM: It is priceless! My parents, siblings, and children are so proud of my education. The program allowed me to stay with my family, continue working, and be a role model for my kids.
My parents, siblings, and children are so proud of my education. The program allowed me to stay with my family, continue working, and be a role model for my kids.
MMU: Have you taken any classes that have really made an impact on you?
EM: All of the classes are great, but one of the harder ones is systems theory and organizational analysis. I loved this class because of the models that we created. It resonated with me, especially the mapping activity where we learned just how interconnected actions, people, and data are to an organization.
MMU: How has MMU been able to support your family’s experiences with military service?
EM: I’m not in the military, but my daughter is, and I know of former students here that have been in the military and they’ve worked closely with Mount Mercy using their GI bill and flexing for their duties to serve our county. I hope that my daughter will take advantage of a Mount Mercy education when the time is right for her!
MMU: Do you have any advice for people who are interested in pursuing a MSL degree at Mount Mercy?
EM: The first step is the hardest. I remember my hand shaking filling out paperwork for my master’s application. I remember thinking, “Oh goodness, what did I just do? Am I prepared for this?” Just push through those thoughts! It isn’t a cake walk, but if I can do it, so can you! There are so many resources out there to use, and your fellow students genuinely care about your success. You won’t be just a number or a face in the crowd. Your instructor will know you by name and you will forge lasting relationships. I miss going to class now that I’ve completed my program.