Matthew Elliott is once, twice, three times an Explorer.
After graduating with a pair of undergraduate degrees from La Salle University, Elliott is back for more. The United States Navy veteran is earning a Master of Business Administration with a Management Specialization. He is on track to graduate in Spring 2020.
"I went to La Salle University because I grew up not too far from the campus," he said. "My family also went to La Salle, and I went to La Salle College High School. It's sort of a family tradition."
Elliott is a clinical nurse at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He is doing the MBA program in a hybrid format, with some online courses and some on-campus courses.
"I am looking to advance my career up to a management position," he said. "I would like to move into upper management in a department or in a health system."
The flexibility of the online courses is especially beneficial because Elliott and his wife, Theresa, have four children ranging in age from 7 months to 10 years old. He typically spends between three or four hours per week on schoolwork.
"I usually finish my assignments right before they are due, but I have the ability to work on school any time of the day," he said. "You can map it out where it works well with your life. You have different options for different classes. The flexibility is great."
After Elliott finished high school, he opted for a career in business before graduating with a bachelor's degree in science from La Salle in 2004. He then enlisted in the Navy and served two years of active duty and five more years in the reserves.
"The Navy was absolutely a good move for me," he said. "It was good for my career and my well-being. I gained a lot of life experience. I was overseas for a little bit in Iraq, and I was stationed in California when I was home."
Elliott also found his true calling while in the military. He was a hospital corpsman, a nurse-like role.
"Before the Navy, I thought I would have a career in business," he said. "I worked for a little bit, but nursing was my career path."
That led Elliott to return to La Salle for a nursing degree, which he completed in 2012. When he was ready for the next piece of his higher education puzzle, he knew where to turn. So far, MBA 810: Developing Your Leadership Skills is Elliott's favorite course in the MBA with a Management Specialization curriculum.
"I took leadership development during the summer and really enjoyed it," he said. "We had an emerging leader day where we learned about different facets of leadership. We had to put together a presentation with teamwork. It was applicable to my job because it helped me handle things differently at work."
One More Time
With graduation a little more than a year away, Elliott looks forward to working hard toward completing the MBA, enhancing his nursing practice, spending time with his family and traveling.
"It's important to set an example for the kids with education," he said. "That's an added bonus."
Elliott is glad he made the decision to return to college for a master's degree. The same goes for his family full of Explorers.
"My brother has his master's degree," he said. "A lot of my friends from undergrad went back already for their master's degrees. My family and friends are excited about it. They appreciate the fact that the MBA will probably put me in a position to provide more for my family."
Regardless of whether Elliott walks the graduation stage this time around, he will have to make some room on the wall for another degree from La Salle University.
"The program has been a good value, so far," he said. "The MBA with a Management Specialization puts me in a better place to lead more effectively."
Learn more about the La Salle online MBA, Management Specialization program.
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