2018 Best Online MBAs: Tracy Farrell, University of Nebraska

Tracy Farrell

University of Nebraska, Lincoln

“I am a meticulous, thoughtful, and determined individual who values respect and equality for all.”

Age:  43

Hometown: Bend, OR

Fun fact about yourself: My husband and I got married in Thailand just we’d have an excuse to go rock climbing there for a month!

Undergraduate School and Degree:

University of Indianapolis, BS in Pschology

University of Indianapolis, MS in Physical Therapy

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, MBA

Where are you currently working? I am currently looking for a position that utilizes my talents as a problem solver.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I rejuvenated a struggling rehabilitation department into a valuable, high-quality asset to the facility and business. I am most proud of this because it was a new undertaking for me and the residents and administration of the facility were so deserving and grateful to have a thriving rehab facility on-site. So many patients who could not have received care otherwise really benefited from the department I built. 

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program?  I chose UNL for my MBA for many reasons. I wanted a ranked program that also had a certificate in business analytics. I wanted the ability to attend online full-time and UNL had many classes that were offered each term and multiple times throughout the year to make this possible. They had a full slate of excellent analytics courses that were regularly available.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? I loved the flexibility and independence of the program and the fact that I could study from a quality institution while living in a small town in Oregon. It also gave me an opportunity to continue classes while doing an internship at Southwest Airlines as a Learning Strategy Analyst.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment?  I was really surprised by the quality of the teaching and the amount of camaraderie with the other students and faculty that I had. I was astonished by how available all the professors were throughout the entire program.

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student?  It’s hard to compare since my undergraduate experience was over 20 years ago. However, I did not think my education was diminished at all by being online versus being in a classroom. In fact, it may have been enhanced because I knew that I was fully responsible for getting out of it what I was willing to put into it.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program?  In order to be successful in an online MBA program, you need to be organized and self-motivated. I wouldn’t have survived without my electronic calendar. It’s like I had a mini-scrum every morning with myself to determine what I had accomplished the day before and what needed to be accomplished that day based on the goals for the week.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? I left my position as a rehabilitation director to attend school full-time and am currently seeking new opportunities.

If you had to do it all over again, would you? Why? Definitely! I have learned so much more about different aspects of business including strategy, analytics and marketing from minutia to the big picture. I know this will only enhance my new career.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? Ultimately, I want to be in a role where I add value to my company and am empowered to give all I can to them. At the same time, I want to be able to empower others to be their best through my leadership skills.



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