Lalena Magnetta ’16

 After 11 years in the Navy, she decided it was time to get her education. 

After 11 years in the US Navy, where she served on board the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and the USS John C. Stennis as well as in the role of navy drill instructor in Great Lakes, Illinois, Lalena “Zoe” Magnetta finished her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Missouri’s Columbia College. 

Without skipping a beat, she then moved straight on to pursuing her Master of Business Administration degree at the University of Redlands San Diego campus. 

To make the most of her military benefits, Magnetta chose to enroll in the one-year MBA program, which, she says, was “extremely challenging,” but rewarding.

“It all fell into place perfectly,” says Magnetta. “My time here at Redlands has been wonderful.” 

While earning her degree, Magnetta was particularly drawn to classes related to global and international issues, as well as those that focused on the “soft skills” of human interaction. “The emphasis on taking care of your people and creating a positive culture and environment really resonated with me.”

 Early on in the program, Magnetta felt sufficiently confident to start looking for a job. “I’m always trying to push myself to the limit, always looking for my next goal,” says Magnetta, who surmised, correctly, that her training and experience in the Navy, combined with what she was learning at Redlands, would make her a competitive candidate.

Soon after starting her search, Magnetta was hired as a training specialist at UnitedHealth Group, teaching people how to use the Electronic Health Record database in San Diego.

Magnetta is a proud member of the Sigma Beta Delta International Business Society as well as the VFW and American Legion, and is also a member of the Lean In Circle Chapter for Businesswomen in San Diego.

“This is a degree that is very versatile,” says Magnetta of her MBA. “I’ve now acquired a broad set of skills that will give me the mobility I’m looking for.”

While Magnetta is grateful for the opportunities that have come her way, she is clear, too, that everything she has achieved is the result of active choices she has made along her journey, including the difficult decision to leave the Navy and continue her education.

"I hope maybe I can be an inspiration to others,” she says.