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Alumni Q&A

MBA in Leadership Education - Alumni Q&A

Missy Wauneka

Director of Curriculum and Instruction
MBA in Education Leadership, Class of 2017

What are you currently doing?
I am currently the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Native American Community Academy Charter School in Albuquerque. I oversee approximately 30 teachers and 400 students, and I make sure that students are getting a great educational experience every day.

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA in Educational Leadership?
I was a successful teacher who developed a lot of skill in managing students, but this is my first job in which I have to manage adults. I knew I was working really hard and pouring my heart into my work, but I thought the MBA in Educational Leadership might help me to work smarter and more strategically.

What did you take away from your MBA learning experience which has been most applicable to your career?
Running an effective school has a lot to do with a high quality learning experience for students, but it also has a ton to do with strategically allocating funds, operations management, and utilizing data to make decisions. The MBA in Educational Leadership program has helped me improve in all of these areas. For example, as a result from learning about accounting and finance, I was able to envision an improved process by which teachers request and order classroom supplies in order to maximize student learning.

You are so busy, how did you fit classes into your schedule?
With a full-time job and three young children, managing classes and coursework was difficult. It was really my cohort of other educational leaders that helped me commit to attending class every week and to produce high quality projects and assignments. My small group was also really instrumental to my success, because we were able to support each other using our individual strengths. For example, I am pretty strong in math and with Microsoft Excel, so I was able to help out a lot with those aspects of group projects, while others were able to focus in on editing the written pieces of work and on creating streamlined presentations.

What advice do you have for future students applying for the program?
I would encourage not only aspiring administrators, but also current administrators to apply for the MBA in Education Leadership program. People who have their administrative certificate already and have been practicing administrators could benefit immensely from the program's business‐oriented approach to effective educational leadership. I certainly gained a lot from the coursework, and due to my current role as an administrator, I was able to directly apply much of what I was learning to my school setting and saw immediate results.