With no experience in assisted living, starting a company in that field was a daunting task for Candice Rail and her husband, Andrew. Despite their inexperience, the two relied on each other and their faith to grow a thriving business. Rail is now working on her next big milestone: earning an MBA from the executive MBA (EMBA) program at the BYU Marriott School of Business.
Rail graduated from BYU in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in Asian history. Her husband graduated in humanities two years later, with an emphasis in English. As the couple decided where to take their careers, they chose to pursue entrepreneurship. “Andrew and I knew we wanted to be entrepreneurs because of the flexibility to do what we want,” Rail says. “I remember being amazed that we could be sleeping or on vacation and our business would still earn money for us.”
However, Rail and her husband were surprised when they felt prompted to start an at-home, assistedliving company. “The idea for our company was complete revelation. Assisted living wasn’t something we had in mind, but Heavenly Father knew better than us that the community where we live desperately needed care for the elderly,” she explains. Their company, 1 Assist Care, started in Rexburg, Idaho, where Rail lives, and now has five locations in Idaho and Utah.
Despite having no background in the field, Rail and her husband worked hard to succeed. “I found that once you know what you’re supposed to do, the answers come,” she says. “At first, we were on our own to find many answers, which we did by seeking information everywhere, including online education, certification, and reaching out to other people.” Ultimately, 1 Assist Care grew through hard work and the Rails’ love for and commitment to the mission of their company. Rail is proud of the expertise she and Andrew have developed as the pair has become safe, competent caretakers and business owners.
While she has been successful with 1 Assist Care, Rail also wanted to expand her technical abilities by earning an MBA. Acquiring the advanced degree was again the result of following spiritual promptings. “I’d never really considered myself a businessperson,” Rail says. “But while I was on my mission in the Philippines, Heavenly Father said to me, ‘You’re going to earn an MBA one day.’ I felt He wanted me to earn an MBA at BYU Marriott.”
Rail appreciates the opportunities BYU Marriott provides to EMBA students. The program meets every other weekend at BYU’s Salt Lake Center, allowing Rail to continue running her business during the week. She commutes from her home in Rexburg and is grateful that her husband has the flexibility to take care of their five kids while she is away.
In her first year of the EMBA program, Rail is already using the skills she has learned to better her business. For example, she implemented HR best practices, such as focusing on employees’ self-worth and looking for specific answers instead of trusting her gut reaction in interviews. This enabled the company to hire more caregivers despite current labor shortages. Outside of what she gains in the classroom, Rail enjoys the networking opportunities facilitated by BYU Marriott. The school currently holds in-person classes, even providing lunch for students so they can stay together and connect with each other more when not in class.
Going forward, Rail plans to continue using her MBA to benefit her business. However, she also knows her next opportunity might be currently unknown to her, such as when she was prompted to start 1 Assist Care. “My MBA degree will do things for me that I can’t see,” Rail believes. “I have discovered in my life that education only opens doors. My BYU education has been and will continue to be one of the most important blessings in my life.”
Writer: Mike Miller