2020 Best & Brightest Online MBAs: Rachel Pruitt, Arizona State (W. P. Carey)

Rachel Pruitt

Arizona State University, W. P. Carey School of Business Online MBA

“I’m a problem solver, a student, a creator, a doer, and a servant leader.”

Age: 34

Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Fun fact about yourself: I love to read for hours, so I learned to speed read and read over 60 books in 2019 (not counting reading for my classes). In 2019, I also completed the challenge: 30 books in 30 days.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Arizona State University – W.P. Carey School of Business Bachelor of Arts in Business Communication with a minor in religious studies

Where are you currently working? I’m a consultant at Bridge Partners.

Current Consultant Project: Project management for Microsoft in change management

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of my work in my internship at Silicon Valley Bank because I was able to make an impactful difference for employees at a global company in only three months. Through redesigning and introducing automation into the program, I reduced the time commitment of participants by 74%. Really, the most rewarding part was how much easier it made the process for project managers.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? I had a great experience in my undergraduate program at Arizona State University and did not want to leave.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? I love the flexibility of the schedule and my residence. My family and I love being in Seattle and didn’t want to move.

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? Overall, the online experience provided more flexibility, allowing me to pick up and put down schoolwork depending on my schedule and mood. This made it easier to engage in the materials. However, I missed the in-class discussions that you get from being in person.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? Learning speed reading and retention techniques is hugely beneficial in this program. You will dedicate hours to reading each week. Even basic techniques like using your finger to follow along on the page while reading can really decrease the amount of time you spend reading.

What would you change about an online MBA Program? I would have liked professors to include more real-time virtual lectures where students can engage in the discussion. The discussion with students can help the topics stick and the real-time discussions can make the lectures more engaging and fun. Online discussion forums are ok, but they are not a real substitute because most of the time students just go in and write their posts/responses and then don’t come back until the next week.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? Online classes have made me very good at jumping into projects with ambiguity. In addition, the online format has given me the tools to find information on my own. This is incredibly valuable in businesses that do not have full onboarding programs or new hire mentors. I can ramp up very fast on a new job very fast.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? My goal is to end up in a director role within change management. I love helping people manage challenging changes and would like to incorporate more coaching and mentoring opportunities in my career. There is nothing more satisfying than helping someone reach their dreams.

Don’t Miss: The Entire Honor Roll of the Best & Brightest Online MBA Grads of 2020

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