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Life After the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership

Amy Shore, M.A.

Amy Shore, 2018 graduate of Williamson College’s Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership, now has her graduate studies a year in the rear-view mirror.

Life after years in the student’s chair often takes on a unique flavor for each graduate who launches into the world. We wanted to catch up with this dedicated learner and long-time Franklin community leader to find out what this new season has looked like for her, and what thoughts have surfaced after a year of reflecting on the MAOL program.

Shore provides through her testimony the compelling wisdom to grasp the learning experience for all its worth – the people, the safe space to contemplate, and the opportunity to begin again.

Could you give us a 1,000 ft overview of your background?

“I grew up in a classical Christian liberal arts school starting in the 8th grade.  My mom and grandma were both teachers, and I pretty much swore that I never would be. Because of the grace and love that was modeled to me by my teachers in those formative years, I found myself asking early on in high school, ‘Who will take their places when these teachers are gone?’ I ended up spending 10 years teaching and being in administration at the classical Christian school here in Franklin that had been instrumental in starting my school back in North Carolina.”      

What compelled you to pursue a Master’s Degree?     

 “Two things: My love of education, and the fact that I missed learning. I knew I was no longer doing a good job growing as a teacher, and I felt like pursuing a Master’s was a way to both ‘refill the well’ and re-jumpstart my love of and pursuit of learning and growth.”        

 Do you have a favorite memory during your time in the MAOL program?          

“It’s a collection of memories really. The time I spent outside of class discussing ideas and asking questions of my professors were among my favorite moments. Whether it was on the park bench just outside of WC with Dr. Roberts, at a coffee shop with Dr. Smith or B.J. Howard, or at a bagel shop with Dick Wells, each and every professor took the time to not only answer my questions and share ideas, but to encourage and walk with me in this journey.”         

Do you have any regrets as a student from your time in graduate school?

“Probably my biggest regret is not interacting with my classmates more outside the classroom. We all thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company, and the international trip brought us all the closer. But that was towards the end of our journey together. I wish I’d taken the initiative earlier on to meet up for coffee or catch up over dinner.”

What is something you gained from your time in MAOL that has significantly impacted you?

“Probably the reminder that shared ideas and shared experiences mean the world when coupled with a shared worldview. Having the common denominator of gospel vision shared among classmates makes the dialogue and endeavors of the classroom all the more meaningful and impactful and also serves as a much needed reminder that I am not alone in this journey of faith and calling”

What are you doing now?

“I am currently 5 months in to a complete and total career change. I am working for a corporate university serving as the coordinator for their leadership training program. The funny thing is, I was not necessarily looking for a career change! But when this opportunity opened up—thanks largely in part to my newly conferred master’s credentials from WC— I realized I would have a unique chance to see from the inside out how a company does leadership development and succession planning well and with intentionality. Those are the things I have a passion for and interest in, and the things I hope to be able to bring back to the table of the classical Christian schools I used to be a part of to help them in their endeavor of training and raising up the next generation.”

What are your proudest accomplishments?         

“I’d have to say that probably the most fun and exciting accomplishment is the opportunity to share my WC Capstone research with the very people I was able to survey. This June I did a workshop presentation to a group of headmasters and board members at the national conference for the Association of Classical Christian Schools on succession planning within their association, and had the chance to dialogue with them on next steps for how to better plan for future leadership transitions.”