2019 Best Online MBAs: Matt Mallino, Auburn University (Harbert)

Matt Mallino

Auburn University, Harbert College of Business

Intrapreneur who loves to create. Husband of 1. Father of 2. Heart for the many.”

Age: 28

Hometown: Detroit, MI

Fun fact about yourself: I am a Black Belt martial artist. However, marketing Jiu Jitsu is now my sport of choice.

Undergraduate School and Degree: B.S., Marketing. Oral Roberts University. Tulsa, Ok.

Where are you currently working? Regional Marketing Manager, General Motors

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? My time as an Assistant Marketing Manager at Buick is something I will always cherish. I worked with a great team on a brand with a rich history. I was also given the opportunity to lead marketing activities for the Buick Encore. During my time there, sales of that product doubled, and it clocked many months as the market share leader in its segment. Today it is Buick’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S. and has continued to set sales records. It is especially rewarding to see the momentum continue to grow that I was able to help create.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? After periods of recruiting and visiting many top-tier MBA programs, I knew one day I would take the plunge myself. As I began to explore different schools, I felt Auburn’s technological capabilities and delivery format was much more advanced than others I had visited. Auburn offered an immense value, ROI, and had a staff who treated me like I was the most important customer to ever walk in the building. Once I got on campus, it just felt like home.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? The ability to continue working full-time and growing professionally. I was also able to flex on the time I had to be “in class.” This allowed me to spend time with my family and not sacrifice the things that matter most.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? I never felt like I wasn’t a part of the cohort. I met a lot of talented people from different industries and many have become great friends.

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? I felt the online approach enhanced my learning experience. The ability to download, pause, and rewind a lecture was so valuable. As ed-tech continues to evolve, I can see a future where all in-the-classroom programs adopt a digital approach.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? The richness of your experience will be determined by the people you meet and planning your deliverables. If you find a good group, stick together.

What would you change about an online MBA Program? While I was fortunate enough to get to campus fairly often, I wish many of my fellow MBA’s had the same opportunity. Every time we did get together in person, I always found it insightful and rewarding.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? I’ve always considered myself somewhat tech-savvy and have pursued MIS/IT electives. Over the course of the program, my IT acumen has grown immensely. I use the language and learnings daily, and feel well positioned to contribute to my company in the digital age.

If you had to do it all over again, would you? Why? Without question. I actually wish I would have started a year sooner. We have a 2.5-year-old girl and an 8-month-old baby boy. Crossing the finish line means more time with them and my wife…who has pulled more all-nighters than me throughout the program.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? The world we live in and how people move throughout it is changing rapidly. I’m thrilled to work in the industry I do and work with the company where I am. Many people talk about changing the world with their work and I believe I actually have the ability to do that. The sales and marketing function is where I feel most at home, but I would like to continue to develop as a General Manager, possibly lead an automotive brand, and launch great products that people love.



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