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Mary Speciale

Mary Speciale

Vanderbilt Executive MBA 2010

Vice President at HCA

Following the Kids to School

Speciale Went for MBA After 20-Year Career

Because she knew it would "position me for new challenges and promotions," Mary Speciale had long wanted to pursue an MBA. But responsibilities at home and at work held her back. "Once the children were in college," says Mary, "I decided I should go back to school, too."

She chose Vanderbilt over four other Executive MBA programs for its national reputation, opinions of senior leadership within her company and the alternating-weekend format. "I felt that if I graduated with an Executive MBA from Vanderbilt, it was really worth the cost because it is recognized by top executives and is a major personal achievement."

The experience, Mary says, was "transforming—like I have awakened from some deep sleep."

It also moved her career in new directions, too. Recently, Mary was approached to lead a new project, based on her newly gained knowledge of lean manufacturing and just-in-time delivery, and on ideas she'd shared with her vice presidents about how to apply those concepts in health care. "I believe my efforts to obtain an Executive MBA have changed the way people think of me," she says. "Previously I had been typecast in a certain mold, and the Vanderbilt Executive MBA is helping me break out of that mold."