National University

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Alumna's MBA Thesis Wins National Award

It also inspires her daughter

School of Business and Management alumna Anne Legg (MBA, 2011) exemplifies the quality, creativity, ambition and success of so many National University graduates. She attended classes as a working adult and a single parent, and while juggling many responsibilities, she still managed to distinguish herself in her profession, her community and her family.

Ms. Legg was, until recently, Vice President of Marketing at Cabrillo Credit Union, which has served San Diego County for almost 60 years.  An advocate for credit unions, she also volunteered as chair of the Credit Union National Association’s Marketing and Business Development Council while pursuing her MBA.

“I looked at several executive MBA programs that could be completed using a Thursday-Friday-weekend schedule, she explains. “But as a full-time working, single mom, I wanted a program that would allow me to tuck my child in at night, to attend her soccer games on the weekends and be there as she needed me to be there. There was only one program in San Diego that allowed me that kind of flexibility: National University.”

As is the case with many National University students, Ms. Legg was often able to carry the knowledge she learned in class directly into her workplace the very next day. “It is wonderful to have professors who not only share theory, but application as well,” she adds. “These are people you can reach out to about current situations you face at work, and get real-world advice and instruction. That is golden!”

Ms. Legg was also able to utilize her newfound academic knowledge with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), applying her education toward facilitating strategic planning sessions and speaking to large audiences across the nation as an industry expert on marketing and as an instructor at credit union marketing school.

Ultimately, she employed her master's thesis ("Creating a New Credit Union Sustainability Business Model") to win a Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Chief Financial Officers Council competition; and it later become a CUNA Councils' white paper.

“I can thank National University for that,” says Ms. Legg of her thesis, which explores the strengths that credit unions enjoy and the challenges they face. She also advocates a shared value business model espoused by Harvard business professor Michael Porter, which also ties in to National University’s core value of community.

"When you think about it, most businesses try to make value in public performance: making money," Ms. Legg says. "Porter suggests taking that and tying it to making society better. I thought to myself, ‘That's it. That's where credit unions need to be.’ At that point I started creating a shared value business model for credit unions."

One more “unexpected benefit” that Ms. Legg  didn't count on was being a role model to her daughter. While she was working on her capstone project, her daughter reviewed all the papers and books and graphs and asked:  "you did all this?" "Yes." Ms. Legg  replied. "When I do my thesis," her daughter responded, "Will you help me?"