Gabriella M. Tammero, M.S.
Organizational Development Specialist Carnival Cruise Lines
Shortly after making the decision to start a career within Human Resources, I enrolled in the Organizational Learning and Leadership (MS) program at Barry University. I can say with absolute confidence that this is the best decision I have made, to date. The time spent in the program broadened my knowledge and skills in communication, talent management, and organizational design. Additionally, I had the fortune of building strong relationships with my peers, professors, and other talented members in the Organization Development (OD) industry. I currently contract my services as an OD specialist to Carnival Cruise Lines, and I have no doubt that I owe a large portion of my success to the program and its dedicated faculty members.
April Pagan, M.S.
Department of Defense Contractor
Since graduating from the Organizational Learning and Leadership (MS) program at Barry University, opportunities have presented themselves, and doors have opened. I always believed I was a born leader, but the OLL program, has enhanced my leadership and communication skills in and outside of the workplace. Shortly after graduation, I relocated to Southeast Georgia, where I was offered a consultant role, with the Department of Defense. In just 8 months, I was promoted to a managerial position, overseeing 5 employees. The OLL program has provided me with the foundation I needed in order to be the successful change agent that I am today. If it was not for the OLL program, I do not know where I would be today.
After deciding to pursue a career in Human Resources, it became incredibly important to me to learn as much as I could about the best methods to utilize with adult learners. I’ve always wanted a profession that focused on the betterment of those around me. Therefore, cultivating the most effective teaching practices became vital to me. The better I learned the lessons taught at Barry, the more I’d be able to help those around me when I began my career. Barry University taught me those lessons and many other valuable skills in spades.
By nature, a career in Human Resources requires a vast array of skills and knowledge sets. I was initially very skeptical that any program would adequately prepare me for the diverse array of skills I’d have to use on a daily basis. However, I could not have been more wrong. The OLL program emphasized a comprehensive look at the field, utilizing both theoretical lessons and situations. These lessons plans were firmly grounded in imparting practical knowledge that would best prepare us for our careers.
Additionally, the OLL program provided exposure to a number of programs in the Miami area that would be ideally geared for our profession. Groups like Toast Masters and ASTD not only additional learning opportunities, but also enabled our class to establish connections with professionals already in the field. This is just one example of the depth of education at Barry University provides!
I always knew that I wanted to work with people in organizations, and more specifically I wanted to learn ways of motivating and training adult learners to be the best they can be within an organization and in life. Motivating and inspiring others is my passion, so this program fit well for me.
I chose Barry because I was looking for a small University feel that gave me the opportunity to develop a strong relationship with my professors, in return I knew this would help me grow, learn and further develop my career.
I feel very confident about what I’m doing thanks to the education I’ve received from my professors and advisor. I’m proud to say that OLL has has delivered and educated me beyond my expectations and I feel very confident about what I’m doing and where I want to go with this career.
I’ve actually had the opportunity to use what I’ve learned and start training new individuals in the organization that I’m working for now. It’s been a great experience so far and a lot that I’ve learned in OLL I’ve been able to use at work.
The eighteen months that I spent in the OLL program helped to enhance my understanding of the trainers' role in an organization, why it is imperative to develop human capital, and the advantages of leveraging relationships. The program helps to highlight the need for trainers in organizations today and equips students with the tools necessary to become effective trainers. In applying theory and practice, I have had the opportunity to work with Starboard Cruise Services where I gained valuable insight on the role and effectiveness of training and development, and its impact on the success of the company.
Developing human capital is the underlining focus of this program where my classes were geared towards understanding how investing in employees' training and education contributes to a better return on investment for employers because the right people are trained for the right jobs. As far as leveraging relationships, this program provided me with a platform to meet and network with people that are already working in the field. The master's in OLL allowed me to have a better understanding of the different functions of Human Resource Development and how it fits into the big picture of any organization. I used the opportunities provided to solicit advice and feedback about ways to improve myself. Overall, my journey was memorable; my classmates and Dr. Kopp were always supportive and ready and willing to accommodate me whenever necessary.
As someone who is interested in the inner workings of human relations, organizational performance, and training & development, the OLL program provided me with the necessary tools to launch my career. The program has exceedingly surpassed my educational expectations, and it has broadened my horizon and my personal attitude in how organizational performance works and the concept of self-direction.
My practical experiences through the OLL program helped me to apply the various theories learned in class and most importantly, to make sense of my career plan - especially for someone who has never worked in the field of human resources. I worked with the Municipal of Biscayne Park Police Department in Florida and developed the employees' policy manuals, leave manual, and updated the Department's hazardous and flood evacuation and procedure plan.
I also had the opportunity to work with the Broward County Aviation Department in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I co-designed and delivered customer service training to approximately 300 employees varying from security to operations and maintenance. This particular experience was far beyond what I anticipated when I began this program and has helped me in designing my future career path.
Barry University's OLL program was exceptional and definitely worth it. The courses within this program have challenged and shaped me to become more innovative and self-directed with my own learning. All of the professors are caring, and I truly enjoyed the small class sizes, which gave that one-to-one opportunity with the professor – you are not just a number in the OLL program. Dr. Kopp is an outstanding chair and academic advisor for the program. Dr. Kopp's encouragement truly helped me to maximize the full potential of what this program had to offer. I have grown so much for the year and a half that I was enrolled in the program, developing many skills.
My experience as a graduate student in the OLL program was amazing, to say the least. I was continually challenged to be creative, dynamic, and innovating in each of my classes. The coursework specifically, was of particular interest to me as I prepared to enter the training and development world. I feel that all of the professors made an impact in my life as each delivered in a different style and expertise.
Dr. Kopp particularly, was the consummate professional, coach, mentor, and advisor that I could ever have. Without his encouragement, it would have been difficult to complete the journey. Moreover, his influence in recruiting me to attend my first American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) meeting led the way to leadership opportunities within the Barry community in addition to the Fort Lauderdale chapter. I have flourished this past year and a half as I have fine-tuned many of my social and interpersonal skills to align with the dynamics of this program. My graduate experience at Barry thus far has been extremely successful, and I am thankful to the faculty for putting together such an excellent program for working adult students like me.