How MBA student Sara Wiseman became a lifelong learner

Contact: Amy Coughenour

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Learning is a lifelong passion for Western Michigan University MBA student Sara Wiseman.

After earning her undergraduate degree from Central Michigan University, she moved to Florence, Italy, and uncovered her knack for event coordination during her time as a tour guide. When she moved back to Michigan, she used the skills and techniques that she learned in a new position at Stryker Instruments, working with a small team coordinating events for the company.

Sara Wiseman

Now, as a graduate student at Western, she's on a mission to further her education and grow as a professional through WMU's Hyflex MBA program, applying what she learns to her roles in the present and future.

“Working for a large company means exposure to a lot of cross-functional strategic discussions,” she says. “Part of the reason I started the MBA program was to feel more comfortable unpacking and applying that information to my work. Making information like financial, marketing and business strategies more accessible helps me set impactful goals and maximize my performance.” 

As Wiseman continues to work at Stryker in her most recent role leading strategic communications on behalf of the neurosurgical and ENT businesses, she has been able to see firsthand why the WMU program works so well for her and for many other students.  

“I chose this program because I was interested in becoming a more well-rounded professional. The array of topics covered in WMU’s efficient MBA program can educate students in a wide range of areas, potentially uncovering further passions,” she says. 

Navigating full-time education and full-time employment is a challenge for many students, but luckily Wiseman has had the support and guidance of her advisor, Renuka Phillips, director of graduate programs and the Global Business Center 

Ren has been hugely helpful in navigating my graduation plan and sharing all the opportunities and resources available to students, says Wiseman. She is always available to answer questions and very thoughtful in her responses!” 

Throughout her graduate studies, Wiseman has proudly maintained her 4.0 grade point average. 

“While this might not last until graduation,” she laughs, “I take pride in gaining high marks while working full time. It takes patience and commitment to complete a degree as a working professional and, in the end, I will be proud that I was able to do both while submitting a high quality of work.” 

For Wiseman, learning didn’t end after undergrad. There is always more to learn about yourself as time goes on, she says.

“Continuing education is not only a good way to stay fresh, but it also shows your employer your drive and curiosity. Just having my expected graduation from the MBA program on my resume has helped spark conversations with leadership in my organization. As a professional, it’s important to challenge yourself in life and show an interest in learning new things,” she says.

Understanding there is always something else to learn and discover, Wiseman continues to dive into new challenges and opportunities to better herself and her team. She's expected to graduate from the MBA program in the fall of 2023. She says she recognizes that even after this accomplishment she still, excitedly, has more to learn in her future.  

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