Avila Now

July 8, 2021

Noble Juggles Avila MBA, Parenthood—from Japan

Posed photo of Kristina Noble in front of Avila University School of Business sign
Avila School of Business graduate student Kristina Noble.

As a mother, former member of the armed forces and wife to an enlisted serviceman stationed in Tokyo, Japan, Kristina Noble has a lot on her plate. When she decided to enroll in graduate school in pursuit of developing her own business, she needed a program as flexible as her.

With Avila’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program she found it. Dynamic course offerings and asynchronous class times mean Noble is able to stay on track with her courses despite the considerable time difference. Juggling her class assignments with raising young children in an unfamiliar country could have been an insurmountable obstacle, but she said the format of the program allowed her to tackle graduate study on her own schedule.

“Since everything is online and some of my classes aren’t tied to a set schedule, I’m able to work ahead whenever I want,” Noble said. “If my kids are at school or napping, I’m able to read what I need to, work on my own assignments without any hassle and then when I do the Zoom meetings I can interact with my teachers and get immediate feedback for my questions.”

A native of New York, after graduating high school she joined the United States Navy, where she met her husband Lee Noble, a native of Independence, Missouri. After leaving the armed forces, a friend mentioned Avila as a good school with an online MBA program.

After completing her first year and visiting campus for the first time this past May, Noble said the personal connections she’s made have been the biggest benefit.

“I’ve enjoyed school and Avila has probably been the best experience that I’ve had with higher education,” she said. “The professors make you feel like you’re a person—not just a number. The level of attention my professors have given me makes me feel better as a student. I feel like I will continue to stay in touch with some of the professors I’ve had at Avila long after I’ve graduated.”

Brian Buckler, professor of Marketing and who taught Noble in one of her initial classes, said her dedication and insights gained during her time serving in the military were assets for her and the class.

“Kristina’s organization and discipline helped a lot, but her assertiveness and plainspoken nature was a real joy to be around,” Buckler said. “She was in town recently for a family event and we had a chance to meet. It was terrific to meet her in person, but I felt like I already knew her through our unique class format.”

Following completion of the degree—and depending on where her family is stationed—Noble hopes to pursue a career in human resources before hopefully opening and operating a coffee shop. She said she was drawn to human resources because she wanted others to avoid the some of the pitfalls she encountered.

“I’ve seen a lot of HR departments or companies where they don’t really care about the employees, there’s no real connection with them trying to help you,” she said. “It just becomes a job. I want to make a difference by helping people to actually enjoy and like their jobs. When I enlisted, I saw military service as a stepping stone to the career that I wanted but I didn’t actually like the job that I was doing. I hope that I can help people enjoy and find fulfillment in their jobs and careers.”

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