“Driven, dedicated individual who respects the past while attempting to create and implement new, more efficient processes that make the workplace better.”
Hometown: Broadway, VA
Fun fact about yourself: Our first child, Charlotte, was born in the middle of my UNL MBA career. I also enjoy kayaking and fishing.
Undergraduate School and Degree: James Madison University, Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics and Media Arts and Design (Broadcast Journalism).
Where are you currently working? Branch Banking & Trust Company (BB&T), Corporate Banking Portfolio Manager
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? In 2016, I graduated from The BB&T Banking School at Wake Forest University. Less than 2% of our 38,000 associates at my firm have completed the curriculum required to graduate from the program.
Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? I chose the program at UNL because the research I did indicated that UNL’s program was highly regarded by all major publications and rankings while also providing superior value. I also chose the program because it did not require in-person meetings on-campus but encouraged interaction amongst students in a virtual setting.
What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? By far, the best thing about the program at UNL was interacting with faculty and other students from different parts of the country. It was interesting to discuss the varying perspectives on topics in the courses with participants in different parts of the country working in different business environments.
What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? I was surprised by the amount of group work that existed in the online environment. Entering the program, I anticipated that the majority of the work in the program would be completed on an individual basis. I was surprised to learn (and came to ultimately appreciate) that most of the work in the various classes was required to be completed with a partner or a group.
How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? It was actually similar to my in-person undergrad experience in more ways than I expected. However, I appreciated the ability to work ahead on assignments and have some flexibility to manage your course load around the demands of a full-time job.
What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? In my opinion, it is critical to focus on time management in an online MBA program. Look for opportunities to work ahead or turn in assignments early. By doing so, you will allow yourself some extra time towards the end of the semester to focus on the final exam or group project.
How has your online education helped you in your current job? I chose a finance concentration for my MBA program and some of the skills we used to complete assignments in Microsoft Excel have allowed me to complete some work tasks more efficiently. In a broader sense, by being in the program with students from around the country and the world, I now occasionally look at problems and challenges in my current job differently after learning of their experiences tackling them in different companies.
If you had to do it all over again, would you? Why? Absolutely! While it was obviously a lot of work, the connections and experiences I gained versus the cost of the program and the dedication required was a clear win for me personally.
What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? At BB&T, our mission is to make the communities we operate in a better place to live and work. I take our mission very personally and I want to continue to the best job I can to ensure the businesses we serve are successful. Their success will, in turn, make my community a better place to come for generations to come. My experiences in the MBA program will allow me to better live out the BB&T mission in the coming years.