Karol Clason, BBA ’05, MBA ‘08
Karol has been in the healthcare industry for more than 20 years. Through her career, Walsh College has been with her as she moved progressively up the corporate ladder. Today, she is the director of strategic planning at Bronson Healthcare in Kalamazoo.
Interview with Karol:
What was your job title before you attended Walsh College?
"Prior to starting my BBA, I was Planning Assistant at Beaumont Health System.
Prior to my MBA, I was a Senior Planning Specialist at Beaumont Health System."
What is your job title now?
"After receiving my BBA, my title was Planning Specialist at Beaumont Health System.
After receiving my MBA, my title was Planning Manager at Beaumont Health System.
Today, I am the director of Strategic Planning at Bronson Healthcare in Kalamazoo".
Why did you choose Walsh College?
“Walsh appealed to me for numerous reasons. I love business. It truly is a business school with a strong reputation, blending theory and real-world experience. Walsh has flexible programs; this was very appealing to me as a working professional. My uncle, Dave Odett (a Walsh professor), recommended Walsh and encourage and supported me throughout my education.”
Is there a Professor that influenced you?
“Richard Pietila, professor of COM 320 and 340. While it was a difficult and demanding class, it was also the most memorable. I have always been a decent writer, but horrible at proofing my work. When I found out that Mr. Pietila deducts a point for each grammatical mistake made in our writing assignments, I thought I’d fail the class. Instead, it pushed me to be more vigilant in proofing my work and strengthened my overall writing skills. Thinking about my “perfect 100” I received on my final research paper still puts a smile on my face. “
What struggles did you go through during your time as a student?
“My biggest struggle as a student was maintaining balance. It was important for me to be realistic by acknowledging that it’s going to be a rough few years and I wasn’t going to be able to maintain the same lifestyle I had prior to Walsh.
I got organized and focused on my goal. I treated my education as a second job; one that is just as important as my 9-5 job. I created a scheduled that combined work, school and family/friends activities. It was also important to carve out “me time” as well. Spending time at the gym, watching mindless TV or reading up on the celebrity gossip was a great way to relax and regroup.
After graduation, as my responsibilities increase, including my work hours, I have to ensure I make time for my family, friends, and me. Similar to when I was at Walsh College.”
What advice would you give to students?
“Plan, plan and plan: Most students are balancing work, family and education; to succeed, planning and time management is essential.
Network: Meet other students, share contact information and stay connected. Once you're in the workforce, your fellow classmates can make a great resource to bounce ideas off of.
Have fun and learn a lot”.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
“I joined several professional societies and attend local and national conference covering current trends in my field. In addition, in 2010, I became a Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives. To maintain my fellowship status, I am required to obtain continuing education credits related to the healthcare industry.”
Please join Walsh College in applauding Karol Clason in her continued successes by adding your comments below.
Contact Duc Abrahamson, Alumni & Student Relations Manager to nominate an alumnus to applaud at (248) 823-1298.