Crystal Loftsgard '16 MSL Headshot

Crystal Loftsgard '16 MSL

Human Resources Business Partner

Taking the Next Step

Crystal Loftsgard ’16 MSL returned to Mount Mercy University to pursue the Leading People and Organizations Certificate. Her certificate helped her build practical skills she can apply in her career.

“My favorite memory from my hooding ceremony was hearing my five-year-old daughter yell, ‘Mommy!’ when she spotted me walking out with my classmates,” said Crystal. “In that moment, I knew it was all worth it.”

Crystal was enrolled in Mount Mercy’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program when the Master of Strategic Leadership (MSL) program was introduced. After reviewing the curriculum and her career goals, she knew the MSL was the program for her.  

“Earning my MSL has made me more confident in my decision-making within the many teams I support,” said Crystal.

Crystal has worked for Collins Aerospace—one of the world’s largest suppliers of aerospace and defense products—for nearly 14 years. She is currently a Human Resources Business Partner, supporting legal and finance organizations. Pursuing advanced education has allowed her to learn practical skills she can utilize in her career.

“I feel the real benefit of formal learning happens when you can immediately apply what you’re learning in a class to your actual job,” Crystal shared.

Six years after completing her MSL, Crystal decided to return to Mount Mercy to pursue the Leading People and Organizations certificate.

“The certificate programs are great,” she said, “because they allow you to really focus on specific areas that you’re interested in.” For Crystal, this meant she could work on expanding her coaching skills.  

The certificate programs are great, because they allow you to really focus on specific areas that you’re interested in.

Crystal Loftsgard '16 MSL
Human Resources Business Partner

“I found myself ‘geeking out’ constantly during my Coaching Skills for Leaders class,” Crystal shared. “It was not uncommon for me to learn a technique and turn around and apply it the next day.”

I found myself ‘geeking out’ constantly during my Coaching Skills for Leaders class. It was not uncommon for me to learn a technique and turn around and apply it the next day.

Crystal has found meaningful support both inside and outside the program. She shares that her professor, Marcie Van Note, has been one of her biggest cheerleaders for the past nine years.

“Whenever I’ve questioned my abilities, she’s always there to set me straight,” she shared. “I will always be proud to call her a mentor and a friend.”

Balancing work, life, and school is made easier by the support Crystal has from her family.

“I would also be remiss if I didn’t call out my husband as the real MVP,” she said. “He has held down the fort, cooked meals, and run kids to practice when I wasn’t available. You can do anything with a strong support system.”

Crystal provides simple advice for working parents: “Remember that your children are watching.” While pursuing her degree and certificate, Crystal has shown her children the value of life-long learning.

“My daughter recently told me ‘I think it’s really cool when you go back to school. I don’t know any other moms who keep going back to school like you do. And it seems like you’re really good at it,’” said Crystal.

Crystal was able to pursue a certificate that helped her in her career. Her advice to anyone considering a certificate is, “Don’t talk yourself out of it!” She shares that classes go by in a flash while you learn skills for your career and life. Overall, Crystal’s education helped her boost her confidence along with her skills.

“I am a first-generation college graduate,” said Crystal, “so earning an advanced degree has really helped me reiterate to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to.”

I am a first-generation college graduate, so earning an advanced degree has really helped me reiterate to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to.

Crystal Loftsgard '16 MSL
Human Resources Business Partner

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