Father and Daughter Taking on Graduate School Together
Father and Daughter Taking on Graduate School Together

Father and Daughter Taking on Graduate School TogetherFathers and daughters experience many of life’s special moments together such as birthdays, graduations, and other significant milestones. Laura and Pedro Santiago can add a milestone that many other families likely don’t: being graduate students together.

The search for graduate programs started with Laura’s goal of becoming a health coach. “I have learned that serving others is so important in life,” she said. “My goal as a health and wellness coach is to help build the whole person while serving and helping people become the best and healthiest versions of themselves and these are some of the characteristics of a Jesuit education.

She was looking for an online master’s program that embodied those values when she came across Creighton’s Health and Wellness Coaching master’s program. That’s when she embraced the idea of getting a master’s rather than just pursuing a certification.

“Creighton had one of the only master’s [programs] in Health and Wellness Coaching,” she said. “I looked at the curriculum and fell in love with the set up and the courses offered in this specific program.”

The curriculum is something that Laura believes will aid her in her future career. The interdisciplinary curriculum gives students the tools they need to confront real-world situations in a health coaching career, including strategies on improving clients’ wellbeing to communication tactics that will help you connect with clients. The program also positions you for national certifications like the National Board Certification for Health & Wellness Coaching.

Another aspect of the program that Laura enjoys is the connections she has been able to make.

“I was able to visit campus and meet with Dr. Bautista. The most meaningful part was that she connected me with two students from my cohort that are local to Omaha and I was able to have lunch and connect with them. It was a great experience to be able to talk to people in my same field about our futures and what we think about health and wellness coaching.”

Opportunities like these are what make Laura thrilled to be a student in this program. That excitement about Creighton caught on with her father, Pedro. He was looking at possible programs to pursue his Executive MBA in Healthcare Management. After being a practicing orthodontist and educator for 25 years, Pedro was looking for something different.

“Learning and teaching are my real passions,” Pedro said. “The [pursuit] of knowledge and the possibility to create educational programs that would help colleagues around the world serve their patients with excellency in a caring environment motivates me to pursue a graduate degree.”

Pedro was introduced to Creighton when he was helping Laura look for online masters programs in health and wellness coaching.

“By pure serendipity, or the act of God, I received an email from Creighton on the EMBA program,” he said. “We soon realized that the academic offer at Creighton was the right fit not only for Laura, but also for me.”

While looking into Creighton’s EMBA program further, he realized that Creighton’s EMBA program was the right fit for him.

“After researching programs around the country and knowing the academic reputation and the strong values-based education at Creighton, I knew that the institution was the right one for me.”

One of the features of Creighton’s EMBA program its accelerated nature. Completing a master’s degree in 18 months has not been daunting for Pedro because of the incredible support he receives from the program’s faculty—something he experienced first-hand during the program’s first on-campus residency.

Pedro said his experience on-campus for the first four-day residency of the program was invaluable. “Getting to know and connect with your fellow classmates and professors was very meaningful and important. The classroom experience, teamwork and discussions created a bond that will last not only during our time at the MBA program, but for a lifetime.”

Overall, the Creighton Graduate School experience has both Laura and Pedro excited to start a new phase in their educational and professional careers. Another key support throughout this process has been each other.

Pedro says Laura doesn’t need his support in regards to academics, but he’s thankful that she has been an incredible support to him in adjusting to online classes.

“Due to a ‘small’ generational gap, dad needs support,” he said. “Laura helps me learn how to navigate on Blueline and Creighton’s website and gives me hints on how to manage an online education.”

Pedro also believes that Creighton’s Jesuit values have made an impact on their relationship.

“I am positive that the Jesuit values present on every single course at Creighton will strengthen our daughter-father relationship and will provide guidance in how to live a more meaningful life; one of success and significance.”

Creighton’s graduate programs have not only set the Santiagos up for success through each programs intentional yet rigorous curriculum. But this experience has been also significant for the duo because Creighton has been a supportive environment that has let them pursue their passions.

The Health and Wellness Coaching degree is helping shape Laura into a health coach who cares for the whole person. At the same time, the EMBA program is helping Pedro become a healthcare leader who makes an impact in a healthcare leadership role.

You may not have the opportunity to pursue graduate school with a loved one. But you do have the support of Creighton University and a network of peers on this journey.  Learn more about all the graduate degree programs offered at Creighton University’s Graduate School by visiting the Graduate School website.