Alison Noone Credits the Excelsior MBA for Her Career Advancement
Alison Noone, of Toms River, New Jersey, was already familiar with Excelsior College when she enrolled in the MBA program, having earned a Bachelor of Science in Business in 2010. She chose to pursue another degree at Excelsior because she loved the bachelor’s program and the online learning fit right in with her lifestyle.
Noone, the assistant director of student life at Ocean County Community College, enjoyed the experience of earning her bachelor’s degree with Excelsior, particularly because of the flexibility to do her coursework around her full-time job and life as a mother of three and the support available from Excelsior 24/7. “If I had a technological issue, I was able to contact someone and get it fixed even at midnight or two in the morning, so when I came to the final decision to get my MBA, there was really no question to come back to Excelsior,” she says.
Earning an MBA in 2018 has allowed Noone to move up in her career at Ocean Community College, located on the Jersey Shore. She has been with the college for almost two decades, starting as a student worker in the Student Life Office and taking on positions of increasing responsibility in the same office. The Student Life Office is an exciting department where no two days are alike, says Noone. Sometimes they coordinate events for the community and some days they coordinate events for other departments. That’s part of what makes it so much fun, too. “It helps keep me connected to the campus as a whole and feel like I am part of something bigger than my department alone,” she says.
“I feel like my education has helped me do my job better and provide the best information for my students.” –Alison Noone
As assistant director, Noone is responsible for keeping students engaged and encouraging them to progress forward with their studies. “I feel like my education has helped me do my job better and provide the best information for my students. I’ve also been able to create opportunities for myself that I may not have considered previously,” she says, and adds she regularly uses business, financial literacy, and accounting skills learned from Excelsior’s MBA program when doing such things as balancing club budgets and negotiating contracts.
One thing Noone shares with students is how she overcame hurdles she ran into as a student. Time management was the biggest challenge, and she gradually learned how to schedule her days so she could fit in schoolwork. “The master’s program is fast paced, it is challenging, it doesn’t hold back or care that you have other things going on, just like your job doesn’t care that you’re going back to school,” she says.
Although her title hasn’t changed, her responsibilities have changed greatly since earning an MBA, she says. She has been coordinating leadership training programs for students and staff and has also become a certified Gallup Strengths coach. “Probably most importantly, I was an integral part of establishing an on-campus food pantry,” says Noone. “I serve as the director of the resource, coordinating volunteers, inventory, donations, and more.”
Noone says she wishes she had not waited so long between earning a bachelor’s degree and returning for a master’s and encourages other adult learners not to wait. She has taken her own advice and is pursuing a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership, Learning, and Innovation at Wilmington University.