2019 Best Online MBAs: Eric Hensley, Auburn University (Harbert) by: Jeff Schmitt on June 16, 2019 | 360 Views June 16, 2019 Copy Link Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Share on Reddit Eric Hensley Auburn University, Harbert College of Business “Traveler, motivator, and risk-taker curious about all that the world has to offer.” Age: 32 Hometown: Nashville, TN Fun fact about yourself: During my two years in the Auburn MBA program, I have found time to run a combined six half or full marathons, ride a bicycle from Boston to New York City, and visit six countries on three continents. Undergraduate School and Degree: Troy University – Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Where are you currently working? Verizon, Consumer Group General Manager What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? In my professional career, I have had the privilege to influence, mentor, and lead countless incredible individuals. I was fortunate to realize very early that my passion for my work resided in seeing others develop and succeed, so my most proud achievement in my career has been my influence in the growth of these individuals. This has included creating and facilitating a development program for frontline managers to advance their leadership abilities, business acumen, and operational skills. Although the direct impact of my influence is intangible, I take pride in the fact that I am surrounded with countless peers and leaders who have been direct reports, mentees, and development program participants of mine during the course of my career. Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? Amongst the top recognized online MBA programs, Auburn stood out for its cost relative to the other institutions. My priority was to attend a program for their academic excellence, and I could not find better value to achieve this than with the Harbert online MBA program. What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? Being in an online program has provided freedom to continue gaining valuable career experience (and income) while studying and has also provided the flexibility to study when and how I want. I have been able to take in lectures via audio while going for a run, watch downloaded classes on long overseas flights, and catch up on courses in comfortable environments anywhere from parks to breweries. What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? Two ideas come to mind every time that I am asked this question. The first is that you must be doing this for the right reasons and not just checking the boxes. The work only begins when the lecture ends, you cannot just watch videos and expect to thrive. Apply the concepts to your career, it’s an incredible advantage that you have over full-time on-campus MBAs. Second, build a network that supports you through the journey. You will be making personal sacrifices during this time, but it’s only temporary. Find ways to get your friends, family, and colleagues involved in your learning and they will better understand why you made this decision and can better motivate you along the way. What would you change about an online MBA Program? One of the most critical pieces of my success in the Auburn MBA program has been my face-to-face time with faculty and peers both on and off campus. With the exception of the Capstone project, on-campus and international opportunities have been optional, which means that a significant portion of my classmates have missed substantial opportunities for networking. By influencing more students to experience the culture of the program, the campus, and the cohort, it can enhance the overall experience of the online MBA. If you had to do it all over again, would you? Why? Absolutely! From discovering a newfound career interest in data analytics to getting otherwise inaccessible peeks behind-the-scenes at some of the most influential Croatian companies, the Auburn online MBA has influenced and changed me in incredible ways both personally and professionally. What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? My ultimate long-term professional goal is to have the autonomy to create and work on projects of my choice which provide value to my organization, the community, and my personal growth. DON’T MISS: THE ENTIRE LIST OF THE BEST & BRIGHTEST ONLINE MBAS OF 2019 or POETS&QUANTS’ 2019 RANKING OF THE BEST ONLINE MBA PROGRAMS CONNECT WITH OUR ONLINE MBA PARTNERS AND FIND AN ONLINE OPTION THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU. Comments or questions about this article? Email us.