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Q&A with, HRL Student, Wendy Mazzei

Wendy Mazzei is a West Virginia native who currently works as Director of Human Resources at WVU Medicine. She recently decided to continue her education through our Chambers College Online Master’s in Human Resource Leadership (HRL) program

Learn more about Mazzei, her experience in the program and how it provides the skills needed to advance in her career.


Q: Why did you choose the Online MS Human Leadership graduate program at WVU?

A: I chose to pursue an online master's degree in Human Resource Leadership (HRL) to further my education and skills, while still being able to balance my full-time job, family, and son’s sports activities. The online format provides me with the flexibility to complete coursework on my own time and at my own pace, making it possible to earn my degree while also managing my other responsibilities. The one-year duration of the program also allows me to quickly gain the knowledge and skills I need to advance in my career. Overall, the online format was the ideal choice for me as it allows me to achieve my educational goals without sacrificing my other commitments.


Q: What has your experience been with online learning?

A: The program is designed to be flexible with assignments given at the beginning of each week and a deadline of Sunday at midnight to turn everything in. This format has allowed me to work on the coursework on my own time and fit it in around my full-time job, family, and extracurricular activities. Additionally, Jamie Fields, the program director, has been a great resource, always quick to respond to any questions. I have found the courses to be challenging and engaging, and the professors have been excellent in their support and instruction.

Q: Have any professors influenced your learning?

A: Dr. Kayla Follmer, Dr. Emily Dennis, and Dr. David Dawley were absolutely wonderful professors who had a significant impact on my learning experience. Their teaching style was engaging, and they were incredibly knowledgeable about their subject matter. They were also very approachable and always willing to help whenever I needed it. What I appreciated most was how they took extra time to ensure that we understood the material. They also discussed real-world concepts that we could apply right away, which made learning more interesting and practical.


Q: Are there courses or any experiential learning classes that have changed the way that you think about business?

A: Absolutely! The strategic business and development classes proved to be particularly enlightening. Not only did they expose me to the strategic aspects of business operations, but they also highlighted the critical role that human resources plays in achieving organizational goals. The courses enabled me to develop a holistic understanding of business operations by examining various aspects such as market analysis, financial planning, and risk management.

What stood out the most for me was the emphasis placed on the strategic side of business. Through case studies and practical simulations, we learned how to develop effective strategies that align with business objectives and how to implement them in a dynamic business environment. Moreover, the courses reiterated the importance of HR in the success of any organization. Having the right personnel equipped with the right skills and abilities can be the difference between success and failure. Human resources is responsible for ensuring that the organization's talent pool is diverse, skilled, and motivated to achieve the company's goals. As such, it is an integral part of any organization's success and must be given the attention and resources it deserves.


Q: How has this program given you the option to advance in your career?

A: I’m the Director of Human Resources at WVU Medicine. Obtaining my master's in HRL has been a significant investment of time and effort, but I believe it will pay off in advancing my career at WVU Medicine. With this degree, I have gained a deeper understanding of the HR field and can make more informed decisions and provide better guidance to my team. I also feel more confident in my ability to navigate legal and ethical considerations and apply strategic approaches to managing human resources. Having a master's degree shows that I am committed to continuous learning and professional development, which can make me a more attractive candidate for higher-level leadership positions within the organization. I am excited about the opportunities this degree can open up for me in HR leadership at WVU Medicine.


Q: What advice would you have for someone thinking about our MSHRL program?

A: If you're thinking about pursuing this program, my advice would be to go for it! When I first heard about the program, I had plenty of excuses for why I couldn't do it, but all of those excuses went out the window once I learned more about the program. For example, I didn't want to give up two years of my life, but this program is designed to be completed in just one year. I also didn't think I could manage full-time coursework while also working a full-time job, but the fact that the program is fully online and asynchronous makes it much more manageable.

Even though I hadn't been to school in over 15 years, the professors have been incredibly helpful and supportive, and they made it easy for me to acclimate to online education. There are also plenty of resources available through WVU to help students succeed, such as tutoring and academic advising. Overall, I would highly recommend this program to anyone who is considering it. It's been a fantastic experience for me, and I've gained a wealth of knowledge and skills that I know will serve me well in my career.


Q: What is your favorite WVU tradition?

A: If I had to pick one, it would be the Gold-Blue Spring Game. It’s a time when fans come together to support WVU and get excited for the new season. I feel like it really unites the community and fans, and we know that WVU has the best fans around!

Learn more about our Online Master’s in Human Resource Leadership (HRL) program here and apply today.

Chambers College