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Entrepreneurial Thinking and Innovative Practices

For Men and Women

Jeanne Ryan G'13 Read Her Story
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Jeanne Ryan G'13
Jeanne Ryan G'13 MBA in Entrepreneurial Thinking and Innovative Practice

She’s often asked why it is that she returned to graduate school for an MBA. After all, Jeanne Ryan had one master’s (occupational therapy from New York University) and she already was the Executive Director of VNA and Hospice of Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Mass. 

“Did you do it so you could get a raise? No,” Ryan explained, smiling. “Did you do it so that you could get a promotion? No.”But, did her MBA prepare her to take on a more comprehensive position within her role at the 100-year-old organization? Absolutely.

“I did it,” she added, “so that I could be a better leader.”

An MBA is an entry level degree for a serious leader, Ryan said. “Because at the end of the day, healthcare has to work financially, that it means it’s a business. I wanted to understand those business pieces of it. I wanted to sit at the hospital’s senior leadership table with my colleagues, most all of whom have MBAs. We each have the same credentials and can speak on that level. I didn’t want to feel like something was missing. I didn’t want to be at a disadvantage.” 

“I didn’t get the degree to get me to the table,” she stated. “I got it to be stronger at the table.”

Her Bay Path MBA also prepared Ryan to be nimble within the changing marketplace of healthcare, much more than a degree specific to her industry. “I knew a master’s in healthcare administration would be reassuring to me, in speaking to others who have roles like mine,” she said, “but this is my second master’s degree. I didn’t want to be reassured. I wanted to be challenged.”

Since it had been some time since her last classroom experience, she laughed when describing her first foray into online education. “While I might have been computer savvy, my very first class for the program was online,” she remembered. “Dr. Lauren Way helped me on a Saturday morning through all the controls and the way to do this or that.”

Was such an online educational environment a challenge? Yes, she said. But not in the way you may imagine. 

“The intimacy with which we got to know one another was unheard of for me,” she explained. “Because you’re willing to say things in a post that you might be less able to say in class. It clears away the introvert and extrovert sides of the spectrum. Everyone in an online class has the chance to be an extrovert.”

“Online classes are, in my estimation, harder than in person classes,” she continued. “You have to prove that you’re showing up and engaging. This is not freeform. This requires discipline.”

Her Bay Path degree is one of her proudest achievements, she said. And to that end, she cites the faculty for helping her get to that goal. In Ryan’s outside life, she coaches youth sports, and from her position at Cooley Dickinson, she’s been in leadership for a long time. 

“I do hold people within my organizations accountable,” is how she described it. “But I don’t leave them alone while they’re getting to where they need to be. Doing this MBA at Bay Path, with these professors—they’re highly demanding of your skills, with high expectations.” 

“But also high support,” she added. “And that’s what excellent education is all about.”

Blake Student Commons on the Longmeadow Campus

For over 100 years, Bay Path has been in the business of teaching business, constantly adjusting to the needs of our students and organizations. We have to…because change is what business is all about. 

Would you like more information about our program?

Call 413.565.1075 or 800.782.7284 ext. 1075, Monday- Friday - 8:30 a.m and 5:00 p.m. (EDT) to speak with a Sheryl Kosakowski, director of graduate admissions. Or you may request information by e-mailing

Analyze. Synthesize. Execute. Succeed.

How do you get down to business? First you have to start from the beginning: break it down to the building blocks of finance, operations, ethics, management, human resources, marketing, and planning. And then you put it back together. But you need one more element to guarantee success. It’s the great idea. Or an innovation that makes the ordinary become extraordinary. Enter leader.

Change the Status Quo.

Designed for working professionals, the Bay Path College MBA in Entrepreneurial Thinking and Innovative Practices promotes creativity, innovation, and an entrepreneurial mindset preparing you for leadership roles in corporations, nonprofits, small businesses, or your own business. Why is this important? Just look at the businesses of today. Just look at our global economy.

This program connects to those answers. You learn the foundation of best business practices. You learn to adjust new product/process innovations with an appreciation of risk. You learn to ask “what if?” You learn to be the person that stands up and makes it happen. You learn that each function of business is connected, and they really DO work together. And you learn what the impact of China or India is on your business or future because you’ll have the opportunity to go with your Bay Path class.

Real Business

From the Wall Street Journal to FAST Company magazine, articles speak to the people who can read their landscape and still see the horizon, they are the ones who will make a difference. That’s why Bay Path teaches business with real case studies, faculty who bring their experiences from the boardroom and the factory floor to the classroom, and to small classes were you find you really do matter.

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Participate in a webinar or on campus information session and have your questions answered by our program director.

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