This piece is brought to you in partnership with Queens University of Charlotte. Kim Curley, who graduated in 2016 with a Master of Science in Organization Development (MSOD), answers questions about choosing to pursue this degree and the personal and professional impact of the program.
What motivated you to go to grad school, and why did you choose the MSOD program?
I had worked in OD for many years but didn’t have any formal education in the space. I wanted my career to go more deeply in that direction, and I knew a graduate degree would help. I also love learning, and I missed being in a rigorous, energetic learning environment filled with curious learners and supportive faculty and staff.
Why was Queens the right fit for you?
I wanted the comradery of being in class with other students and learning from them as much as learning from faculty. Everyone I spoke with affirmed that the program would be great for me and that I could contribute to the program, as well. The schedule of classes gave me the flexibility I needed in my career. I wanted to take my career more deeply into the OD space. I now lead the People and Organizational Change, Process Optimization and Project Management practices, and feel I’ve accomplished that goal.
How has your degree helped you, both professionally and personally?
I learned tools and techniques for diagnosing organizational challenges and methods for designing solutions that I use every day with clients. I was recently included in a campaign within NTT DATA called “Game Changers,” focused on individuals who make a real difference for our clients and our people. The MSOD program expanded my understanding and capability to drive business success by first focusing on taking care of our people.
What are you passionate about? How did Queens play a role in your following this passion?
I’m passionate about the people side of business! Many business leaders are myopically focused on the technical or process aspects of their business without regard for the fact that — with very few exceptions — business is about people. When you leave the people out of the equation, you miss many opportunities. Queens gave me the language, tools and credentials to have those conversations with clients and colleagues. It gave me the confidence to know the kind of leader I wanted to be within my firm and how I wanted to care for our people.
If you could share only one thing about your Queens experience with someone, what would it be and why?
The MSOD program was the best thing I ever did for myself, personally and professionally. Those of us in the know say that it’s a “master’s degree in me” and that couldn’t be more true. The first and most important rule of Organization Development is that the practitioner must be right with themselves first before they can be a catalyst for change, expansion or development. It’s hard work and worth every bit of effort you’ll put in it.
Want to learn more about the Queens MSOD program? Click here for more information.