Our Stories

Building Skills—and Confidence

Materials manager equips herself for bigger things

Lynette Baker
Director of Support Services at NorthCrest Medical Center, Springfield, Tennessee

Vanderbilt MM Health Care 2013

Lynette Baker had set a personal goal of earning a Masters degree by the time she was 40. As she neared that milestone, the CEO of NorthCrest Medical Center—where Lynette is responsible for purchasing, shipping/receiving and supply distribution—suggested that the Vanderbilt MMHC might be a good fit for her professionally and personally.

“It was the push I needed to apply,” she says. “I knew I would have more opportunities to advance my career by pursuing my dream.”

Still, she recalls, getting started was harder than she’d thought. “I had not been in a classroom in 17 years,” she says. “I was terrified to open that door and start school again. The Owen staff helped give me confidence. They were very supportive and understood my fears. Once classes began, I saw the other students were just like me. Everyone had a full-time job and family responsibilities.”

During the program’s 13 months, missing her children’s gymnastics practices, baseball and football games and other outings was also hard. But “the benefits and opportunities far outweigh the sacrifices,” Lynette says. And she began seeing benefits right away at work. “I worked on projects at my job that became my presentations in the classroom she says. “And because of our classroom discussions, I would analyze situations from work and see them differently so I could find the best solutions.

“Owen has helped me improve my leadership skills, grow, and become better prepared for additional responsibilities. And the support I have from faculty and classmates gives me a network of professionals and friendships that will last a lifetime.”