2020 Best & Brightest Online MBAs: Andrew Woodward, Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)

Andrew Woodward

Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business Online Hybrid MBA

Strategic, Results-Oriented Leader. Builder of People, Projects, and Teams. Husband, Father, Brother, and Son.”

Age: 31

Hometown: Boston, MA

Fun fact about yourself: I was born in Tokyo, Japan.

Undergraduate School and Degree: B.S. Civil Engineering and Economics, Lehigh University

Where are you currently working? Bond Brothers, Inc. – Project Manager; Boston, MA

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? It was being selected as a recipient of the annual Michael Daly Award for Leadership as a Field Engineer while working at the Kiewit Corporation. At Kiewit, I had the opportunity to experience the process of conception to execution of the power plant project lifecycle. At the same time, I gained hands-on leadership experience working with union craftspeople from all over the United States. These men and women taught me some of the most powerful leadership lessons and traits that I will carry with me for the rest of my career and their skill and dedication to their trade is inspiring. I have since taken these skills to Bond Brothers, where I have been able to apply the lessons learned while continuing to hone my leadership skills as a Project Manager.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? I chose the Tepper MBA program and the part-time online hybrid format choose me based on life circumstances. Bottom line, my personal and professional goal was to earn a T20 MBA. While considering programs, Tepper impressed me with its legacy of quantitative management science and intense leadership development focus while combining the resources of a world-renowned research university. I also knew that I would not be sacrificing the quality of education based on the delivery format I choose; this was the same MBA through and through. On a personal note, my wife is from Pittsburgh, which allowed for a great family dynamic to include her when I traveled back to campus to access weekends.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? The flexibility to have the Tepper MBA meet me where I was in my life on any given day. I did not have to be in a classroom to complete my school responsibilities or attend class, which shifted my concentration from where I had to be to what I needed to get done today to reach tomorrow.

Also, my cohort was incredible throughout the entire program. The bonds and friendships developed through the program made the investment of time and effort, fun and enjoyable. I know the Tepper network will be a valuable resource for the rest of my life.

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? As an undergraduate, I experienced the rigors of a traditional 4-year Bachelor of Science in Engineering, which was quantitatively focused, and results-driven. After six years of work, returning to the classroom (physical and online) at Tepper was a breath of fresh air. I rediscovered an intellectual curiosity and maturity that had been redefined since completing my undergraduate degree. This opened my perspective to the new content and classroom experience alongside that of my classmates to thrive in the hybrid learning environment. After completing the core analytics classes, the assessment shift from proctored, timed exams to group projects, papers, and presentations was a welcomed change.

What would you change about an online MBA Program? If I could change anything, it would be to have more time to access the resources available at an institution like Carnegie Mellon University and the immersive academic experience of being on a college campus. Reflecting on the evolution of the MBA program during my three years, the Tepper administration was constantly seeking feedback to improve on all facets – class delivery, program format, access weekends, etc. This created a culture of continuous improvement rooted back to analytical decision making and leadership educational focus which is the core of the Tepper MBA.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? First, it has allowed me to continue working while earning a degree from the Tepper School. To align some b-school basics, cash-flow is king at home just as it is in business. Second, it has allowed me to learn, practice, and develop my empathetic listening and mentoring skills in real-time. It was often the case where we would be discussing a case in class and the next day, I would be sitting in a client meeting having a discussion that was directly applicable to the class content. I found this balance between “real-world” responsibilities and “classroom” learning to be incredibly powerful and brought a new perspective to the educational experience which I had not considered previously.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? C-suite leader at an organization where I can contribute and lead teams to deliver results while mentoring and developing others around me.

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

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