Roberto C. Llano
“Resilient, self-motivated, focused individual hoping to make a difference and provide to his family.”
Hometown: Born and raised in Pereira, Colombia; currently reside in Phoenix, AZ
Fun fact about yourself: I have never been able to play soccer at a competitive level (even though I love the game) and I am not a big fan of spicy food.
Undergraduate School and Degree: Arizona State University, B.S. in Computer Information Systems
Where are you currently working? Intel Corporation
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? The most memorable moment of my professional career was regaining the trust of a specific customer. As a junior database engineer, my biggest concern was the lack of technical depth to support my customers. While learning about the intricacies of databases, I focused on providing the best customer service experience. The approach paid off, and customer satisfaction scores increased from 60% to 100% within a year.
Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? Reputation and flexibility were the primary drivers in my choice. After investigating several programs, I felt the Eller Online MBA was the best fit for my personal and professional goals.
What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? The flexibility of working at my own pace was, without a doubt, the best part of being in an online program. With a family and a full-time job, time was scarce and forced me to become disciplined in managing it. I set a schedule and plenty of reminders to ensure I stayed on top of assignments while meeting other personal and professional commitments.
What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? I was surprised by the incredible amount of collaboration between students. I was very fortunate to interact with a fantastic group of faculty members and students who helped me from day one. Communication during group assignments was efficiently managed via text or email, allowing me to work around my schedule.
How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? These are two entirely different experiences. In my opinion, the in-class experience is driven by the instructor explaining the content, whereas the online setting strictly relies on the student to understand the subject and coursework.
What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? Be organized, be proactive; and be engaged. Work in groups and spread the work among members. Communicate and understand the time limitations of other students. Stay focused, and never give up!
What would you change about an online MBA Program? I would encourage group activities in every course. Collaborating with fellow students was one of the most rewarding experiences of the online MBA program as most of the learning came from discussions with other individuals.
How has your online education helped you in your current job? Interacting with other students in a virtual setting has improved my communication with things like writing emails or preparing presentations. I now understand the timing of communication in a virtual environment as well as making the most use of traditional conversations.
If you had to do it all over again, would you? Why? Absolutely! While the rigorous coursework of the Eller Online MBA program challenged me in every aspect of my life, it helped me uncover my true potential. I have a tremendous sense of accomplishment and I sincerely hope my children, family, and friends will see me as an encouragement to pursue their goals.
What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? The MBA experience has made me realize the importance of diversifying and exploring other areas. I see myself in a leadership role shortly after gaining valuable technical knowledge in different fields.
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