Playing a Division I sport while earning an undergraduate degree in three years bucks convention.
But Bailey Norby thought outside the scheduling box and did just that. Now, the Forest Lake, Minnesota native is finishing her MBA while playing basketball for the Bluejays.
The women’s basketball team trains on campus ten months a year. Norby had some free time in the summer and opted to take classes to maximize her “down time.” These extra hours, coupled with full class loads during the academic year, meant she was able to complete her finance major in three years.
Having one more year of eligibility on the basketball court, Norby decided to enroll in the Heider College of Business’ MBA program, and she is happy with this decision.
“Creighton has put me in a great place to be successful,” she says. “My coaches and professors have pushed me to my potential to complete my MBA while doing enjoyable things such as studying abroad in Australia last summer and taking classes I really enjoy.”
The learning she has experienced at Creighton has extended beyond the classroom and onto the basketball court: teamwork makes things run more smoothly; perseverance is not just important, it’s necessary; everyone has struggles and support makes these struggles manageable; and a small investment of time can yield a huge impact.
Norby took this last lesson home from the Siena/Francis House, where she and her teammates volunteer. While athletes are required to do 20 hours of service a year, volunteerism is something to which she has naturally gravitated. As an undergraduate student, Norby worked at the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice (SCSJ) as a data and relationship management intern responsible for coordinating data for the many SCSJ service trips and Project Homeless Connect.
“Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to attend a service trip because we have tournaments and games over fall and spring break, but I have been able to do the behind the scenes work to make these trips possible,” Norby says.
“I value working with people and making a difference, and that’s why the SCSJ has been so special to me. I am kind of the glue that helps other teams finish projects,” she says, citing examples like shopping for service trips, leading groups to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Omaha and preparing for the SCSJ soup luncheon fundraiser.
Relationships have been at the center of her Creighton experience. She loved the school’s close-knit feel when she visited as a high school senior and feels the size of the campus makes it easy for students to interact with each other. She values the connections she has made with classmates, teammates, coaches and professors the last four years.
“We have professors who care holistically about the student in and out of the classroom. I have had professors invited me to their homes over the holidays because they know that athletes don’t get to go home to their families over breaks,” Norby says. “And the coaches care not only about you as a player, but also as a student in the classroom and a person outside of basketball.”
Service is in Norby’s blood. She knew she found her calling professionally when she interned with Five Star Financial assisting clients in making informed financial decisions. Once she graduates with her MBA, she plans to continue this mission as a financial advisor or in a corporate finance position within the sports retail industry.