Find out more about the educational path this alum pursued.
Meet Candace Sanchez,
Candace Sanchez knows she isn't a typical leader.
She also knows that's her greatest accomplishment. As a Latina, female manager in IT, a sometimes-male dominated field, Sanchez is now a role model. "It's possible," she says.
She has risen through the ranks of a Milwaukee health care organization. She started her career as a pediatric receptionist before moving on to managed care. There, "I was always the person to dig into the computer, to find out how things work," she says.
Soon she was transitioning into the IT department, then into management. She's now the organization's director of IS operations.
Sanchez is also a leader in her community. Her extensive volunteer work includes participation with the Gamma Alpha Omega Sorority and heading up a local scholarship program for Latino high school students. She likes to mentor people and says she often encourages others to reap the benefits of pursuing higher education.
She believes she wouldn't be the leader she is today if she hadn't pursued it herself.
As she transitioned into IT, she knew it was the right time to go back to school to earn a BSIT. After looking at her options, she chose University of Phoenix. From the ease of enrollment to her relationship with her academic progression specialist, University of Phoenix was just the perfect solution for Sanchez, she says. She adds that it also worked with her busy family and work schedule. Being a committed, working adult learner was great, she says. "I could relate the work experience to school and vice versa."
The program's facilitators are working in the field and very knowledgeable, she says, adding that she believes they have a big part to play in student success. Sanchez's coursework was directly applicable to her job, she explains. Her degree enabled her to ask her team relevant questions from a technical perspective. "I felt smart, I felt capable, I felt ready,” she says.
That wasn’t the end of Sanchez's education journey: she believed she needed an MBA if she wanted to move on to a vice-president or another high- level position. University of Phoenix was again her choice.
Her MBA also gave her useful, relevant workplace skills. “It was like I had 'aha' moments all of the time,” she says. “I was connecting all the dots.”
For instance, Sanchez remembers listening to the chief information officer provide financial updates to her organization and understanding all the terminology he used. Overall, her education made her a stronger leader, she says. “I feel confident about making decisions.”
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