Once Lindsey Lemay ’15 ’17 finishes earning an online Master of Business Administration in Human Resources Management from Fitchburg State University, she’ll have significantly more free time to relax and enjoy.
Just don’t count on her taking advantage of it.
“I work my full-time job; I work a part-time job; I’m studying to be an SHRM [Society of Human Resource Management] certified professional on the side; I babysit — I’m all over the place. The online format was definitely ideal for me,” Lemay said.
Lemay is on pace to finish the online MBA program in summer 2017. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Fitchburg State in 2015. Not surprisingly, Lemay had a full plate before she started college.
“My senior year of high school, I did dual enrollment,” she said. “I did that part-time, so I still took one class at my high school and three classes each semester at Fitchburg State to kind of get ahead of the game.
“I went to a public college outside Massachusetts formy first official year of college. I loved it there — it’s a great school. But, for not knowing what I wanted to do and paying out-of-state tuition, it was ridiculous. Fitchburg State, which is about 10 or 15 minutes from where I live, was a great option for me.”
Finding a Niche
Lemay was still looking for a specific career path when she moved from her role as payroll specialist at Mass Advantage Payroll to that of HR specialist and business coordinator at its sister company, Total HR Solutions, in September 2015.
“I was in business studies, focusing on management,” she said. “I knew something business-related was where I wanted to go, but the company I’m with now introduced me to the human resources world. That’s when I really realized I liked it. That’s what prompted me to go back to Fitchburg State.”
Working for a human resources outsourcing company appeals to Lemay’s multi-tasking nature.
“I’m not just strictly HR for one company. We deal with a lot of clients, so I’m working with restaurant groups, fitness clubs and fertility centers. I really like the aspect of learning different companies’ operations,” she explained.
Lemay also said she enjoys being involved in policy development and job description development.
“I really like the projects and the captive audience thing, as well,” she said. “I can schedule and plan out my day. I’ve taken on other roles that are not HR-related. I’m the contact for the Affordable Care Act for Mass Advantage Payroll. I’m doing a little bit of everything for the company, but those things are aspects of why I like it and want to continue with HR.”
Schedules and Scheduling
Once Lemay had a plan and decided to go back to school, she had the advantage of familiarity with the online program and her prerequisites completed. She took a mixture of online and on-campus courses during her undergraduate work at Fitchburg State.
“The online courses definitely require self-discipline,” Lemay said. “If you apply yourself, as long as the teacher provides you the materials and that structured syllabus telling you what to do and when, there’s no reason you can’t succeed. I’ve developed a process where it makes it very easy for me to get the online work done.”
In addition to the human resource management course, Lemay thoroughly enjoyed marketing management, which was also immediately applicable to her job.
“Even though it has nothing to do directly with HR, I liked marketing management because I do some marketing roles with the company, as well, as far as social media and branding goes,” she said. “Because we’re a startup company, our brand image is very important.
“We’re trying to get out there to show people what we have available to them, so that course was very exciting because I was able to apply a lot of what I was doing now with my job, take it with me and help us grow as a company. I was able to sell the marketing tools a little better, whether it was personal brochures or blog posts online. That was really good.”
‘Never Stop Learning’
Lemay has finished seven of the 10 courses she needs to complete the online MBA. In addition to holding down a full-time job, she also works as an independent distributor for It Works! and as a bartender. Part of the reason she is able to handle so many things at once is the support of her friends and family.
“They were pretty excited,” Lemay said. “I have a couple of friends who also went back for their master’s degrees. Everybody was excited for me and supportive of me. All of my family and friends have a go-getter personality like, ‘If you want it, you can get it.’ It definitely pushed me into a ‘Just do it’ mentality.”
Lemay believes the online MBA program has helped her develop in her career, her additional jobs and her extremely busy life outside of work.
“I would say definitely go into it with an open mind and be prepared to schedule your weeks and figure out your course work,” she said. “My biggest thing is to not fall behind. In general, the MBA is definitely a good thing to pursue, not only for your career but also for your own knowledge. You can never stop learning. The things you learn are things you can apply in everyday situations, not just your career.”
Just for the record, Lemay does find time to sleep.
“I do,” she said. “The weekends, especially — that’s when I’m sleeping.”
Learn more about the Fitchburg State online MBA in HR Management program.