2020 Best & Brightest Online MBAs: Erick Dela Pena, Lehigh University

Erick Dela Pena

Lehigh University’s Flex Online MBA Program

“Optimistic, goal-oriented, and adaptable person who can think on his feet and outside the box.”

Age: 41

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Fun fact about yourself: In a previous life, I was stationed aboard a nuclear-powered submarine

Undergraduate School and Degree: Excelsior College/ Nuclear Engineering Technology

Where are you currently working? Coresite, Senior Sales Engineer

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Recent organizational changes required the training of several people. My efforts to train personnel resulted in several trainee promotions and the business operating more efficiently.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? I chose the Lehigh Flex MBA program because of the comprehensive curriculum and the live classroom experience. The content introduced me to business concepts and analytical tools that immediately helped me in my career.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? The collaboration within the group projects was definitely my favorite of the program. The distance was not a barrier to creating life-long bonds and developing ideas.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? The most surprising part of the online learning environment was how the platform provided such a personal feel with the in-class MBA students able to engage with the online students.   

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? In comparison, the online experience was an equally engaging experience as the in-class experience due to the various platform features like screen sharing and chat windows.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? The best piece of advice I can give is to do your best to maintain balance with life’s demands by keeping an all-inclusive calendar. We all have personal, academic, and professional commitments. In order to balance them all, you must stay organized to ensure no singular aspect in life is neglected.

What would you change about an online MBA Program? This was an extremely difficult question to answer. From an academic sense, I could not think of anything I would change with the program. However, there should be a way to have online students connect more with the school community, possibly annual events where students or alumni have an opportunity to come to campus and congregate with faculty/ staff and other students.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? My education has given me a broader perspective when evaluating problems and the tools necessary to validate business decisions. Since starting my MBA program, I have been promoted from Sales Engineer to Senior Sales Engineer.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? My ultimate long-term professional goal is to continue to grow as a leader and work my way up to a senior leadership role, whether it is a Senior VP role or C-Suite.

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

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