09:36 AM

Education Opens Door To Organ Transplant Career

Education Opens Door To Organ Transplant Career

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

Shawn Carter doesn’t collect the heart. He doesn’t transport the kidneys or perform the transplant operation, but he is a life saver just the same.

IDN_logoRather than moving hearts and kidneys, Carter’s job involves facilitating the flow of information to the people that need it at the Iowa Donor Network.

“I’m a Systems Analyst at Iowa Donor Network and my focus there is about linking business intelligence to work process,” Carter said. “I design, code and deploy systems that support data gathering activities, ensure data integrity and work to help our leadership get the information they need to make sound decisions based on data.”

So Carter is not in need of a medical degree, but the Master of Business Administration degree he earned at Bellevue University sure does come in handy.

“The decision to earn my MBA really changed the trajectory of my life and career in ways I’m still learning about today,” Carter said. “The experience thus far has taught me that the more I learn the greater my ability to pull from multiple past experiences to find solutions to problems. It makes me both a better person and a better employee. I have found that the vision I had for myself when I retired from the United States Air Force was much more limited than what I have so far achieved and I owe that in great part to my education.”

Carter said motivation was a key element in his educational experience.

“I learned early on that what you put into your education experience greatly affects what you receive from it,” he said. “I found many like-minded people in my classes for who passing wasn’t enough, actually learning the material and being able to apply it to our current work was important.”

Carter earned his MBA in 2010 after first completing his Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems at the University in 2003. Stationed just down the road from the University at Offutt Air Force Base, Carter took advantage of the convenience.

“The school was readily available with a physical location that I could escape to when I needed help,” he said. “As a young non-commissioned officer with a wife and two kids time was always at a premium.”

A convenient credit transfer policy also played a role in Carter’s college choice.

“The fact that I could carry over my Community College of the Air Force Associates Degree helped in my decision to choose Bellevue University. It was seamless and really easy,” Carter said. “The staff and Bellevue University know their stuff when it comes to Tuition Assistance and Veterans Education Benefits. They really made that and the advising the easiest part of the entire process.”

Carter, originally from Hanover Park, Illinois, spent 20 years in the Air Force, retiring as an E-6 Technical Sergeant before transitioning back to the civilian world. He is just a passionate about his civilian career as he was about his military career.

“My experience in the not-for-profit world has been exciting and, like my time in the Air Force, I love a solid mission that I can get behind,” he said. “The one thing I’ll say about organ and tissue donation is that if you believe in the cause, you should register with the donor registry of your state. Many times people think they are too old or too sick to donate but it is not always the case. The joy and sadness that surrounds organ and tissue donation is a gift to behold.”