Human Resources and Organizational Leadership Grad Has No Limits
By Kirsten Slyter on 02/18/2019
Sarah Kaeding has always put her family first. For her, putting her kids first means achieving her educational goals.
As the first person in her immediate family to earn a Bachelor’s degree, Kaeding has set an example for her children. As a child herself, there was no expectation that she would continue her education beyond high school, but she defied expectations.
“I wanted to do it for my kids and for my family,” Kaeding says.
Though going back to school while juggling a full-time job, kids and marriage is notoriously challenging, Kaeding found a way to balance everything. Now she has a Human Resources and Organizational Leadership Bachelor’s degree and some words of wisdom for others considering going back to school.
Paving her own path
Kaeding’s first experience at Rasmussen College was in the Medical Assisting program, where she earned her Diploma while working full-time in the billing department at Mayo Clinic. She enjoyed this experience but was ready to take on a new challenge.
After doing some research, she learned that a degree in human resources could open up a range of opportunities, including career advancement opportunities within her current company. She decided to make the investment in her future, so she went all in and enrolled in the program.
Kaeding needed to continue working full-time in her current position as she advanced her education, so she needed a flexible, supportive, online program. The Human Resources and Organizational Leadership (HROL) program at Rasmussen College checked all those boxes.
The HROL Bachelor’s degree program helps students like Kaeding acquire the knowledge needed to pass human resources industry exams, and it helps prepare them to apply for jobs in the field. Students learn how to lead, recruit and hire staff; train employees; create positive change and lead others.
Balancing family, work and school
The online HROL Bachelor’s degree program was a perfect fit for Kaeding. While raising two young kids and working full-time, she was able to complete her coursework during nights and weekends. She also says it was surprisingly easy to reach out to her professors and get a quick response anytime she had a question.
Kaeding spent 15-20 hours or less each week on schoolwork, leaving her time to juggle everything else. When life got challenging or schoolwork got intense, she was able to take a day off work or lean on her mom or husband for additional support, allowing her time to focus on her schoolwork.
“The flexibility made it possible to reach my goals,” Kaeding says. Her son even got in on the learning fun. He would ask whether he could listen to lectures and cuddle with her. He even wanted to interact with her classmates and professors, asking “Can they hear me, mom?” when she had the microphone on mute. This encouraged her and helped keep her motivated.
“I wanted to show my kids that … education is very important and it’s something you can continue on with even if you’re a mother, working full-time and married,” Kaeding says. “You can still go to school and get those things taken care of.”
Hungry for more
After graduating with her HROL Bachelor’s degree in September 2018, Kaeding has been seeking more opportunities while taking on more responsibility at work, including HR-related tasks such as training and onboarding. She says she utilizes the knowledge and skills she learned at Rasmussen College every day, including human resources and workplace laws, time and stress management, and strong writing skills.
“I want to prove to myself that I’m capable,” Kaeding says.
In many ways, Kaeding has. She’s already advanced her education further than she ever expected to. And if she can do it, so can you. If you’re a busy working professional who’s considering pursuing a human resources degree, here’s Kaeding’s advice to you: “Just know that you can do it!”
Sarah Kaeding’s story is proof that you can always find time to invest in yourself and your future. Her educational investment is not only helping her advance her career, but it’s also setting an important example for her children.
If you’re intrigued by the idea of pursuing a human resources career, you may already have some of the qualities needed to succeed in the field. Find out in our article, “7 Signs You Should Be Working in HR.”
If you’re interested in following in Kaeding’s footsteps, learn more about Rasmussen College’s online Human Resources and Organizational Leadership programs.