Our Stories

Managing a Career, Kids and an MBA

'It can be done,' says Daniel Byrdsong. He's the proof.

Daniel Byrdsong
COO, Accurate Healthcare

Vanderbilt Executive MBA 2017

With two children at home (another was born during his time in the program) and a world of responsibilities at a fast-growing health care company, there was never going to be an easy time for Daniel Byrdsong to go back to school. But there was also no time like the present for him, as he puts it, “to get out of the normal day-to-day and challenge myself.

“A prestigious university recognized all over the world is right here in Middle Tennessee. If I were going to challenge myself, this would be the place to do it.”

Perhaps not surprisingly for someone with a young family, enhancing his ability to prioritize and manage time was one the most valuable skills Daniel gained in addition to his new business knowledge. “At times it feels like you have more tasks than you can complete, but you learn to learn which are more urgent and which are important to help move other team members’ projects forward.”

He also found the Leadership Development Program highly valuable. “My executive coach helped guide my career decisions,” Daniel says, “and was a sounding board for any work-related challenges.”

It’s true, Daniel notes in hindsight, that you gain new knowledge you can put to work every day. Even more, he says, he has gained a broader ability to contribute to all areas of the organization. “The CEO constantly involves me in all meetings outside of traditional finance areas,” Daniel says. “Vanderbilt has allowed me to become a well-rounded and respective executive.”

And while finding work-life balance during the program wasn’t easy, Daniel says he managed. At the time we talked to him, he says, “My wife is pregnant with our fourth child and I am still happily married. It can be done.

“The CEO constantly involves me in all meetings outside of traditional finance areas.”