Heather Staples Lavoie

MBA, Class of 1996

"Both my CEO and his CEO are (SNHU) graduates as well. Given our roles (and the success...), I would say that it is a very wise investment."

In the early 90s, Heather Staples Lavoie was immersed in the healthcare industry. With an undergraduate degree in education, she knew there was more to learn if she was to move forward in her career and began looking into graduate programs.

"I was interested in advancing in business and was seeking an aggressive program that would enable me to maintain my position and secure a degree in two years or less," said Lavoie. Southern New Hampshire University fit the bill, and then some.

She was blown away by her professors, not just by their professional credentials but their passion in teaching, too. "The material truly came alive," she said, "and I was hooked on business from that point forward."

As her career evolved from a project director within the healthcare industry to chief operating officer and now, chief strategy officer, Lavoie's MBA education has been beneficial throughout.

"The value is immeasurable," said Lavoie. "Understanding the fundamentals of the market, being trained in quantitative analysis, securing a comprehensive understanding of strategic planning and management, learning about forecasting, operations management, business law - this background has aided me in every role I have held, and allowed me to take on the work of building and leading businesses."

Without her MBA credentials, Lavoie said she would not have been afforded the opportunities she has had - nor would she have been prepared to do the work of business planning and execution were it not for the skills she developed and practiced during the graduate program.

There hasn't been a single MBA course she hasn't put to use. "To aid me in my current role...I use strategic planning, quantitative analysis, accounting, finance, operations and distribution, organizational development, business law and more on a daily basis in designing, establishing, distributing and managing new products and markets," she said.

She's in good company, too. "Both my CEO and his CEO are (SNHU) graduates as well. Given our roles and the success we have had across our respective careers, I would say that it is a very wise investment."