2018 Best Online MBAs: Andrew Spradlin University of Florida (Hough)

Andrew Spradlin

University of Florida, Hough Graduate School of Business Online MBA Program

Lifelong learner, who solves problems by looking at life through the wrong-end of the telescope.”

Age: 26

Hometown: Davie, Florida

Fun fact about yourself: I’m a classical guitar player.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Florida State University, BS in Mechanical Engineering

Where are you currently working? Dow Chemical, Lead Reliability Engineer. Currently transitioning to Microsoft as a MACH MBA Marketing Manager

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Leading a team to set up the business intelligence platform at Dow that has since grown into a global suite of tools, empowering individuals and organizations to make better decisions.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? There were four main reasons:

  • University of Florida has a top-ranked online, and on campus program.
  • The hybrid format required multiple trips to campus per year, which was a great networking opportunity for both other cohorts and staff alike.
  • The program had some of the highest return on investment scores in its ranking range.
  • Being from Florida, it was a way to expand my professional network in that region.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? Without a doubt, the two best things about an online program is the flexibility it offers to a professional, and the ability to apply what you learn the minute you walk back into work. This practice solidifies what concepts you take away in an MBA program into long-term memory.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? Perhaps the most surprising thing was how accessible the faculty was. They really were top-notch in communication, and held regular office hours to ensure the students were grasping concepts.

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? Admittedly, it can be difficult to network in a 100% pure online program. With anything, it is what you make it. Networking within your school and cohort is obviously easier in the in-the-classroom experience. However, by remaining a professional during your online program, you will be expanding both your professional and cohort network. So I’d like to think the net result, from a networking perspective, is likely even.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? A high GPA is fantastic, but do not forget to network. That is just as important!

How has your online education helped you in your current job? My current role at Dow is highly strategic in nature, has financial budgeting aspects, and requires strong leadership and project management skills to be successful. Luckily, there were courses on just about every aspect of my current role.

If you had to do it all over again, would you? Why? Absolutely. It has enabled me to not only excel in my current field and sector of work, but jump over to start a new and exciting career at Microsoft. Not to mention, the lifelong friends and memories I’ll take with me during trips to Gainesville, Florida and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I’ve been lucky enough to work for some amazingly talented individuals over my career, who have impacted me more than they know. Ultimately, I look forward to giving back to organizations by inspiring their people to achieve more, just as my past leaders have for me. If I can do that, and solve seemingly insurmountable problems, I think I could get out of bed every day for work with a smile on my face.


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