When Crystal Yang started the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Master of Science in Organizational Change Leadership program in the fall of 2018, she was already leading a busy life. In addition to working full-time, she is mother to five children and adding graduate school while juggling the two wasn’t easy.
“It’s a lot,” Yang said. “I know there are people who’ve tried doing school from a distance and it was hard for them to motivate themselves. There are days where you’re like, ‘I’m so sluggish, I don’t want to do homework,’ but you just have to put in your head, ‘hey, you’ve got to push yourself and keep on doing it. There’ll be rewards at the end.’”
Yang is a Provider Relations Coordinator for Central Wisconsin Anesthesiology. In her role, she manages credentialing and privileging for providers, coordinates with insurance companies, and serves as direct support for her administrator, which includes being the go-to person for any projects.
On one such project, Yang was able to incorporate her degree capstone with her work. As her company was transitioning to a new human resources system, Yang saw an opportunity to combine it with what she was learning in her classes. She handled the transition, training, writing up procedures, and needed changes.
Her education had a real-time impact on her work, but it was her work that first had an impact on her education, after hearing about her administrator’s experience in the Master of Science in Organizational Change Leadership program. “My administrator is such a great mentor. She actually went to UW-Platteville, and that’s one of the reasons why I chose UW-Platteville, from hearing all of the great things,” Yang said. “My administrator attended UW-Platteville when the OCL program first launched. She was one of the first students who went through that program, and she had so many good things to say about OCL.”
But it was Yang’s administrator’s philosophy on learning that resonated the most with her. “She inspired me with ‘you’re never too old to keep learning.’ And that’s the way I look at it too.”
Yang has instilled this philosophy in her children as well. “My oldest is 12, so I always tell him that education is important,” she said. “They have to maintain the education, because you’re never too old to learn. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you can learn. It’s interesting because every day you learn something new, even if it’s just learning to build something small, or applying makeup, you’re still learning.”
Yang earned her Master of Science in Organizational Change Leadership in spring 2021. As the first in her family to have a graduate degree, it holds an even deeper significance. “My parents are immigrants. My dad’s from Laos; my mom’s from Thailand. They didn’t have much education, didn’t really know what the United States had to offer, and they never got that chance to pursue higher education.”
With an emphasis in human resources, Yang’s degree will help her fulfill other goals of helping people and businesses succeed. “I love working with people, so I see myself directing change and that’s what I want to do in the future—empower people to change. To put it into a business perspective, when you see an organization falling apart, you can totally flip that. The way I look at it, is like flipping a house,” she said. “Right now, I don’t know where I’m going to go, but my administrator always says, ‘When I give you something, you always lead with it.’”
About UW-Platteville's Online Programs:
UW-Platteville offers ten undergraduate degrees online, including Associate of Arts and Sciences; Associate of Science in Business Administration; Associate of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management; Bachelor of Science in Applied Computing; and Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice; plus Bachelor's of Business Administration in Finance, Human Resource Management, Integrated Marketing, Integrated Supply Chain Management and Management. The ten online master's degree programs are Applied Biotechnology, Criminal Justice, Cybersecurity, Engineering, Healthcare Administration, Integrated Supply Chain Management, Organizational Change Leadership, Project Management, Sport Administration and Strategic Management. The university also offers 16 graduate and undergraduate certificate programs.
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