Real World Experience Fuels HR Manager’s Learning
By learning to be a more effective leader through BVU's organizational leadership master's program, Suzanne Johnston is leading the way as the human resources manager at Bunn-O-Matic.
Suzanne Johnston has always known the value of continued education. Twenty years ago, she started her first master’s degree and shortly after chose to pause her journey to focus on her family. With just one of her children still at home finishing high school, she re-launched her pursuit and graduated with a master’s in organizational leadership from Buena Vista University in April 2020.
“The BVU program aligned well with what my academic goals were for my career and my desire to learn,” says Johnston.
While working toward her degree, the human resources manager who covers four of Bunn-O-Matic’s beverage equipment manufacturing locations in southern Iowa, also balanced a dual role of corporate organizational development consultant.
“The coursework within this program aligns well with helping organizations to foster effective leadership skills, which I think is essential to any business.”
“I was able to directly apply what I learned in all of the courses in the organizational leadership program at BVU to our company leadership development initiatives,” says Johnston. “Dr. Mary Gill (BVU’s Organizational Leadership Program Director) was instrumental in my learning. She was very supportive in helping me navigate through my capstone project, which was an actual project for BUNN. I gained a lot of insight and support from her.”
The entire program is offered online for the convenience of working professionals, but it is based on a cohort model which allows for added connections between students. Through the cohort model, students journey together through the entire program. Johnston says this furthered the sense of comradery and connection to her fellow online classmates and enhanced what she was learning.
“The coursework within this program aligns well with helping organizations to foster effective leadership skills, which I think is essential to any business,” says Johnston. “I felt like this was very foundational and applicable to any type of work I would be facing in my career.”
With her strong drive to learn and grow, Johnston will continue to find news ways to implement what she learned during the program throughout her profession.