Wharton | Ms. Product Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Kellogg | Mr. PM To Tech Co.
GMAT 720, GPA 3.2
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Tech In HR
GMAT 640, GPA 3.23
MIT Sloan | Mr. Electrical Agri-tech
GRE 324, GPA 4.0
MIT Sloan | Mr. Aker 22
GRE 332, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Ms. Anthropologist
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Consulting Research To Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0 (no GPA system, got first (highest) division )
Stanford GSB | Mr. Future Tech In Healthcare
GRE 313, GPA 2.0
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Environmental Sustainability
GMAT N/A, GPA 7.08
Harvard | Mr. Gay Singaporean Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Ms. Creative Data Scientist
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Military To MGMNT Consulting
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
MIT Sloan | Mr. Agri-Tech MBA
GRE 324, GPA 4.0
Wharton | Mr. Data Scientist
GMAT 740, GPA 7.76/10
Harvard | Ms. Nurturing Sustainable Growth
GRE 300, GPA 3.4
MIT Sloan | Ms. Senior PM Unicorn
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Harvard | Mr. Lieutenant To Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. “GMAT” Grimly Miserable At Tests
GMAT TBD - Aug. 31, GPA 3.9
Yale | Mr. IB To Strategy
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Harvard | Mr. Overrepresented MBB Consultant (2+2)
GMAT 760, GPA 3.95
Kellogg | Ms. Freelance Hustler
GRE 312, GPA 4
Kellogg | Ms. Gap Fixer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.02
Harvard | Mr. Little Late For MBA
GRE 333, GPA 3.76
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Wellness Ethnographer
GRE 324, GPA 3.6
Wharton | Ms. Financial Real Estate
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. The Italian Dream Job
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
NYU Stern | Mr. Labor Market Analyst
GRE 320, GPA 3.4

From Covert Missions To An Online MBA

Photo of Benjamin Golata, student of Indiana University's Kelley Direct, in Air Force uniform inside the cockpit of a plane.

Benjamin Golata is a pilot in the U.S. Air Force and a Kelley Direct MBA student

Benjamin Golata’s second office is a cramped affair, built in the 80s with worn seats and a metallic smell; it can only be reached by a shaky set of steps and at certain times the noise level can be deafening. It also reaches speeds of 619 mph. And the views are out of this world.

Golata, 27, or Captain Golata as he’s known around Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, CA, is an Air Force pilot of the KC-10 Extender, essentially the oil tanker of the sky. These jumbo-sized planes carry more fuel that most people will consume in their lifetimes. Fighter jets zip up to the KC-10, and in a feat of aerial finesse, connect to a tube the size of a fire hose all while flying in tight formation. It’s as simple as pumping gas, except while hurtling through the air at hundreds of miles per hour, thousands of feet above the earth.

For Golata, it’s merely another day’s work. But it doesn’t end there. On this particular evening, he’ll drive home to Vacaville, CA, power up his computer, and pull up a Google Hangout. He’s got a two-hour group meeting where he’ll rehash decisions for a market simulation project with classmates from around the country. Afterward, he’ll spend another hour or two reviewing business law cases so he can post his observations in an online course forum before finally calling it quits. Most nights, he spends three to four hours on coursework.

Golata is one of 1,072 students enrolled in Indiana University’s Kelley Direct program, where he’s earning his MBA online. Kelley was among the very first business schools to offer the virtual version of the degree in 1999. Since its inception, 2,298 MBAs have graduated from the program. This year, the program topped U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of the best American online MBA programs.

Increasingly, top-tier B-schools around the world are adopting online formats, and students like Golata are signing up for them in record numbers. For many online MBA students, the Internet-based experience allows them to keep a job they love, while laying the foundation for a successful future career.

Golata flies the KC-10 Extender, which can refuel plans in midair

Golata flies the KC-10 Extender, which can refuel planes in midair

Golata has always wanted to be a pilot. “Ever since I was this big,” he says, holding his hand a few feet from the floor. “I’m just one of those kids who always looked up at the sky and always wanted to do it, so luckily I get to live my dream, which is pretty awesome,” he says. But racking up flight miles and missions has its drawbacks: Golata didn’t want to abandon flying, but he recognized spending time in the cockpit might hurt his prospects of a more corporate career in aviation consulting. “As you can see my MBA doesn’t really apply to much here,” he says, gesturing to a daunting array of gauges, knobs, and switches in the cockpit. “But I don’t want to come out and be behind on my business skills.”

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