Online Master’s Degree Prepares Brenda for Promotion


brenda earns online master's degree

When Brenda Montagna began the online Master’s in Project Management program at Granite State College in 2011, she, like many of her classmates, was focused on advancing her career. Brenda, who worked in the Information Technology department at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, was eager to develop the skills needed to step into a leadership role.

I was looking for a curriculum that would really supplement my work experience and my career track. That’s exactly what I found with the Master’s in Project Management at Granite State College.

Fast-forward to 2016: After graduating with her master’s degree in the spring, Brenda’s vision came to fruition. She was promoted to a Program Manager role in her IT department, where she was able to put her skills to work.

Balancing Online Master’s Degree With Work and Life

Looking back on her Granite State College experience, Brenda reflected that the College’s flexible online programs set her up for success.

As a wife and a mother of two children, who at the time were in elementary school, Brenda was able to complete her degree on her schedule while balancing full-time work, family, and everyday life.

You can work, you can have your family time, and you can also allocate time to enhance your studies.

She also noted that earning her master’s degree online helped to prepare her for a world where virtual teams have become increasingly important.

We work in a virtual world now. Learning virtual communication is valuable to the workplace.

Applying Her Education in Real-Time

Brenda said the faculty at the College, many of whom are active in their industries, provided expertise and experience that brought her education to life.

I found the instructors at Granite State to be extremely hands-on and knowledgeable. They were able to take the curriculum and apply it to real-world work and experiences. They were extraordinary.

Similarly, her classmates brought their experiences as working professionals into the classroom, making the discussions engaging and thought provoking.

At the same time, Brenda was applying what she was learning from her courses at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and seeing the value of her education pay off right before her eyes.

As I was going through the master’s program, my employer continued to give me more responsibilities. I certainly benefited from it, and I believe Dartmouth-Hitchcock has, too.

Support From Her Family

As much as she benefitted from the flexibility of the online master’s programs at Granite State College, Brenda acknowledged that she couldn’t have done it without the support of her husband, Robert, and their two children, Marissa and Tori.

While Brenda was working on her coursework, Robert would take care of the children, bringing them to the park or helping with their homework.

It’s a joint venture to travel on the educational path. My husband was always right there with me. He was my biggest advocate. When I graduated, they were there, and we all shared in that same experience.

Brenda Montagna and Daughter at GraduationNow, Marissa is beginning her own college experience. This fall, she enters the University of New Hampshire in the University Honor’s Program.

I think going back to college and finishing my master’s degree showed my kids how important education is. I’m so proud of Marissa and I’m looking forward to seeing her succeed in college.

Online Master’s Programs Designed for Adult Learners

Looking back on her experience eight years after finishing her master’s degree, Brenda said she’s grateful that she made the choice to go back to school.

I encourage anyone who may be hesitant to go back to college to start with Granite State College. Their programs are designed to support adult learners and the success factors are built into the curriculum.


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