2018 Best Online MBAs: Christopher Ott, Arizona State (W. P. Carey)

Christopher Ott

Arizona State University, The W. P. Carey School of Business

A Marine Corps Reserve Captain, manager at Amazon, a husband and father.”

Age: 35

Hometown: Plano, TX.

Fun fact about yourself: Been to 46 countries.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Arizona State University, B.A Political Science, B.A. Religious Studies

Where are you currently working? Amazon.com, Operations Manager

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Besides being able to lead Marines and Amazon associates, I’m most proud of spending a few years in Europe with the Marine Corps as a logistics planner establishing crisis response task forces. I was able to partner with several countries in Eastern Europe where I got to build strong professional relationships and bring our countries closer together.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? Arizona State has one of the top-rated programs and speaking with admissions I was enthused about how much emphasis they put on the quality of the program. I’m also local to the school and take advantage of on campus resources.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? I love that I continue to grow as a professional and a student.  I looked at full time programs, but didn’t want to give up my career. Every day, I learn something new at work and at school and it seems I develop even faster than if it was school only.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? I’ve been most surprised with how much group work and network is still emphasized similar to a full-time program. I am constantly in contact with my team members and having to work together on everything is a unique and rewarding challenge.

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? Surprisingly it is more interactive with the other students.  During my undergrad, my work tended to be individual effort and most of the time I didn’t need to interact with other students.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? Be passionate about it and enjoy the program. It will consume your free time, so if you don’t love it you will have a tough two years.  Make the program your hobby and have fun.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? I’m consistently using things I’ve learned in my job. I work on a lot of big projects at work and the cross-functional learning of the program has allowed me to be able to speak across departments to help build consensus on projects.            

If you had to do it all over again, would you? Why? Absolutely! I get an incredible amount of professional development, fulfillment, and fun out of the program. And I’ve kept growing professionally. I have been promoted during my time in the program and that is something I would have missed had I done a full-time program.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I’d love to continue growing professionally and be an executive at a company someday. I enjoy leadership and operating at the strategic level to help drive a company forward.


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