Ellen Lux is a busy woman.
The Michigan State University graduate owns two small businesses, one specializing in marketing consulting, the other a financial services firm. When she goes home, Lux is a wife and a mother of four sons.
With all that on her plate, it would have been easy for the Michigan resident to put getting a master's degree on the backburner or simply shelve it altogether. But that just isn't her style. Lux earned her bachelor's from Michigan State, so when she started considering her options for the next level of educational achievement, the choice was clear: Once a Spartan, always a Spartan.
Needing to weave school into "my crazy lifestyle," Lux enrolled in MSU's online MS in Management, Strategy and Leadership program.
"Flexibility was a big driver, along with the fact that the program offered is from a quality university with a solid reputation," she said. "I liked that the curriculum was weighted toward strategy and leadership rather than a traditional quantitative MBA program, since my undergraduate degree was in business."
The knowledge Lux attained through the MSL program at The Eli Broad College of Business has brought immediate benefits.
"With the global integration of today's business environment, you really have to focus on what makes you different," she said. "I have broadened my perspective and the program has enabled me to make better decisions both professionally and personally. I apply concepts learned in this program every day – setting strategy, mapping outcomes and building better relationships."
Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Lux spent 18 years working for a major corporation in roles ranging from IT to international marketing manager. The latter was a job that sent her around the globe working across cultures on big projects. Eventually, the desire to create her own business led her back to Michigan.
Lux said ensuring success in the MSL program required carving out time in her hectic schedule for assignments and group discussions. "It sounds simple, but like most things, you will get out of it what you put in."
Herself the youngest of 10 siblings, she credits the support and understanding of her family.
"My husband is also an MSU graduate, so we're huge Spartan fans," Lux said. "My son Jason is a student at the university, too. I tease him all the time that I'm going to get my PhD and move in with him next year."
Looking ahead, Lux hopes to explore the possibility of teaching at a local college, where she can share her knowledge and experience with others.
"I really like this quote by George Eliot, 'It's never too late to be what you might have been,'" she said. "This program has reminded me just how important continuous learning and professional development is in our constantly changing world. I feel this program has prepared me to take on new positions and challenges with additional confidence and insight."
Are you a student or graduate of Michigan State University's online master's degree or certificate programs? We would love to share your success story in our Student Spotlight series. Contact us at testimonial@MSUonline.com for additional details. And for more stories like this be sure to check out our Success Stories.
You may also be interested in: MSU Online Student Finds Network of Support