Returning to the classroom with 15 years experience to earn her master's degree

Q&A with M.S. Finance student, Michelle Burke '21G, from Plaistow, N.H.
M.S. Finance student Michele Burke

Michelle Burke '21G has nearly 15 years of work experience and decided to return to college to get her master's degree to learn more about financial theory and anlytics and how to apply that to making strategic business decision to help guide leardership.

Tell us a bit about yourself, and why you wanted to get a graduate degree?

I am a non-traditional student returning to school full-time after nearly 15 years of work experience in diverse administrative, clinical, and operational positions. My goal was to learn more about financial theory and financial analytics and how to apply that knowledge into making informed strategic business decisions to guide corporate leadership toward overall financial goals. I am hopeful an advanced degree in finance (Finance MS) will help propel my career forward as my knowledge in finance, coupled with my experience in operations, enables me to see the broader impact of operational changes on financial outcomes as well as the impacts of strategic financial decisions on operations and the workforce.

Have you learned/discovered anything during your program that’s surprised you? If so, what and how do you think you will apply it professionally?

The most surprising things were purely based on lack of knowledge of large corporate structures and how investments, bonds, and operational finance decisions impact profitability. I’m sure all the knowledge gained will be incredibly beneficial professionally.

What do you consider to be the strengths of the program?

All of the professors are very knowledgeable, professional, friendly, and accessible. They are truly dedicated to each student’s success.

Why did you choose UNH Paul College?

I was interested in the intensive 1-year program and selected UNH so I could attend in-person classes (although with the Covid situation, I ended up taking all of my classes remotely). This is the inaugural class for the M.S. in Finance program and thought it would be a unique opportunity to help the university establish a solid program and pave the way for other N.H. residents to obtain an excellent education in finance without needing to commute to an institution in Boston.