Alumni Testimonials

Penny Sather

Master of Science in Organizational Leadership
, Class of 2014
Norwich gave me the opportunity to expand my thinking by exploring common programs across multiple organizations. As a result of this program and my expanded leadership skills, I was able to take steps to influence the business units to align with the corporate direction.
Penny Sather, Class of 2014
Master of Science in Organizational Leadership

Q: “Tell us a bit about yourself, Penny.”
A:  “I live in Houston, Texas. I’ve been married for six years, and we have a three-year-old daughter. I enjoy running, yoga, horses, and spending time with my family. The work-life balance is important to me.”

Q: “Briefly describe your professional life.”
A:  “I work for Chevron where I am an information architect. I assist business units in examining their business processes and identifying high value information to work to drive change as well as to create information maps. Previously, I was the information management champion for an internal operating company where they set strategy, drafted an information management plan, and drove change throughout the organization. In both roles, I was an influencer from a leadership perspective, even when people weren’t reporting to me.”

Q: “What was your motivation for pursuing your degree?”
A: “I wanted to further my career opportunities as well as understand how I can add value as a leader to drive organizational performance.”

Q: “What makes Norwich unique?”
A: “While other brick-and-mortar schools offer online programs, Norwich is one of the oldest universities and it offers small classes. The online program, while structured, does offer flexibility. The residency week was a really valuable experience that you won’t find just anywhere. I felt the residency provided a chance to further build personal relationships so you can feel like you’re part of the school. The flexibility of the Norwich online program was important to me, too.”

Q: “How have you grown personally or professionally as a result of your education?”
A: “In the program, the concept of influencing skills through “leading change” was immediately useful in facilitating strategic change throughout the business units I am responsible for. Previously, business units were not aligned with the corporate direction in regards to their information management strategies and road maps; they were all going off on their own. As a result of this program and my expanded leadership skills, I was able to take steps to influence the business units to align with the corporate direction.

Personally, my time management skills have grown, too. My ability to balance work, family, and school is much greater than before. Professionally, my communication skills and my ability to influence others strategically have definitely grown as a result of this program.”

Q: “What aspects of your Norwich experience will you carry most strongly with you?”
A: “Norwich gave me the opportunity to expand my thinking by exploring common programs across multiple organizations. I will use this information in future career opportunities.

As a result of the online interactions and the residency, I have made lifelong professional contacts as well as friends. I would highly recommend Norwich to anyone who is considering furthering their education.”