Karen Altig always enjoyed learning, but she didn’t think about teaching until she saw a LinkedIn post from a former coworker advertising for a business process management teaching position at Midland University.

At the time, Altig, who is a senior enterprise Agile program manager at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE), was working on her Master of Business Administration (MBA) and “decided to jump in and see how it went.”

“It’s been great,” she said.

Altig teaches both undergraduate and master’s degree classes at Midland University. She has been able to bring her work at BCBSNE into the classroom to help her students learn.

“For me, bringing those real-life scenarios and those real-life situations from BCBSNE to a classroom brings the topic to life,” she said. “Even though I can’t share a lot of specific details, I can still share general situations.”

On the other hand, she has also learned skills from teaching that she has brought back to her work.

“The details matter,” said Altig. “It’s easy to talk in theory or share a concept and idea and then think that my students understand it when they don’t. It’s taught me to slow down and provide the details.”

Like many students and teachers, Altig had her semester flipped upside down due to COVID-19.

“For the undergrad class I was teaching, it started on campus in January, and in early March, it switched to online full-time,” said Altig. “That was challenging because most undergrad students weren’t accustomed to going online.”

While her MBA classes are already partially taught online, they will still lose an in-person aspect with an adjusted summer program.

“Midland University’s MBA program is a hybrid program,” said Altig. “It is a nine-week program, and six of those weeks are online anyway. The session that started on June 5 is completely online. I will really miss the interaction of the on-campus time because that is really where you make those connections.”

Midland University is one of BCBSNE’s tuition reimbursement partners. Altig encourages BCBSNE employees looking to get an MBA to consider that opportunity.

“Don’t be afraid to say yes because you never know what opportunities are going to come your way,” said Altig. “Be willing to try it, get some experience and reach out.”

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