“I didn’t go back because I thought I would have to stop working full time.”

Emily Luciano has a Bachelor’s in Food Science and works for a large international retailer that specializes in food. In 2016, she earned her MBA in Business Administration through Capella University’s self-paced learning format:  FlexPath.

Luciano started her job right after graduating with her bachelor’s. She knew she’d want—and need—to get an MBA at some point, but she didn’t think the time was right for a number of reasons.

“I didn’t think I could work full time and go to school, plus I still had loans from my bachelor’s degree. I also thought that most people worked for two years before taking time off to pursue their master’s, and I’d only been at my job for two months.”

Luciano heard about FlexPath at a special work event at her company; she was interested, but still concerned about the financial aspect.  However, her company was offering two full scholarships to employees, so she applied, not imagining she would be a recipient.

“I got a phone call at work about three months after I applied, and someone said, ‘Emily, are you sitting down? Well, you might want to for this phone call.’ I got the scholarship! So that’s when I really felt, ‘Wow, I can actually do this now.’ The scholarship was exciting and started to open new doors.”


But it wasn’t only the scholarship that helped Luciano achieve her MBA; it was the FlexPath format itself.

“The FlexPath format was wonderful. I don’t think I could have done my MBA without it. It allowed me the ultimate flexibility. I would wake up early some mornings to do coursework; I would study a lot after work; I could squeeze in assignments during lunch. My education was on my own schedule, and there’s really no way I could have gone back to school without that flexibility.

“If I finished a class in 6 weeks or 8 weeks or 3 weeks, I could move right on to that next class. I wanted to finish in less than two years, and I ended up finishing in just a little over a year because of that.”

Luciano found the support system through FlexPath to be an integral part of her success.

“The coaches helped answer any questions that you have about the program, about the classes, about funding—anything. I used the tutors if I had any questions about an assignment. It was extremely helpful having a tutor there to guide me through the basics in the beginning, and then help me jump into those more advanced problems.”

She found her coursework not only interesting, but relevant and valuable to her daily work life.

“Even though I’m a food scientist, I need to understand the business side of things if I want to move up in the company. At first, I was scared to work full time and get my MBA, but I found that it benefited me in both areas. I could take real-life work situations and apply them to assignments in my program, and I could take what I learned from my studies and apply it to our projects at work.”

Luciano has already seen signs that her MBA is having a positive impact on her career.

“I’ve been able to use the knowledge I’ve gained, especially pertaining to leadership. I’m still pretty young and new in the work field, but people in upper management have taken notice and are encouraging me in my development. I want to be a leader, and I want to make a difference in the world. Getting my MBA has helped me get to that next level.”

Interested in self-paced learning? Learn more about FlexPath.

See graduation rates, median student debt, and other information at Capella Results.