2020 Best & Brightest Online MBAs: Tammy Ostroski, University of Arizona (Eller)

Tammy Ostroski

University of Arizona, Eller College of Management

“I am a continuous learner dedicated to instilling impactful lasting change in an interdisciplinary manner.”

Age: 45

Hometown: Wausau, WI – Currently in Phoenix, AZ

Fun fact about yourself: Each time I say that I am done with school and taking classes, I find myself wanting to learn more and pursuing another area of study or a new hobby. Don’t tell my family, but I’m not sure I will ever be completely done with school.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

Carroll University – Bachelor of Science, Environmental Science

Cardinal Stritch University – Associate of Science, Nursing

University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee – Master of Science, Family Nurse Practitioner

Arizona State University – Doctorate of Nursing Practice, Innovation Leadership

University of Arizona – Master of Business Administration

Where are you currently working?

Arizona State University – Health Services

Chief Nurse Practitioner

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I was awarded the New Professional Affiliates Award at the American College Health Association annual conference. This award recognizes individuals with service in the field of college health. I was recognized for my high standards of patient care, improving patient care outcomes, implementing strategies to enhance patient privacy and instituting evidence-based care models within the clinic. I am passionate about this work, and I appreciated the chance to be recognized for my work and a platform to explain why this work is important.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? The Eller MBA afforded me the opportunity to work towards my MBA while continuing my healthcare practice. When I started this program, my goal was to directly apply what I was learning in my organization.  Therefore, I looked for a quality program that would challenge me as a learner while also allowing me to pursue my passion for healthcare.  The Eller MBA met these requirements and also allowed me to balance my work, my studies, and my personal life.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? Meeting colleagues from around the world who challenged me to think, learn, and apply my knowledge in a different way.  This was most evident during a course on business communications.  I was able to utilize the knowledge and skills from my coursework and apply it in a new context.

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? The quality of the students and faculty in my program elevated my learning throughout the program. As an adult learner, the focus was on the application of knowledge and interaction with each other and our faculty-led to robust conversations, idea sharing, and a focus on real-world issues.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? Connect, connect, and did I mention connect? The strength of an academic program comes from the other people in your program. It is essential that you connect with your classmates and faculty. When you are learning online, you have to actively seek out opportunities for networking and look for people who are different from you who will help you to move beyond what you know to consider things from a different perspective. I also sought advice from the program coordinators for guidance on which course to take together for optimal work, life, and study balance.

What would you change about an online MBA Program? I would like to see programs increase virtual networking opportunities for students in non-cohort programs. Many programs host in-person networking sessions and as we are transitioning to increasing the abilities for virtual work, I feel MBA programs are in a prime position to become leaders in this arena and drive forward these connections across disciplines.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? It has changed my outlook and perspective.  I am much more comfortable in front of a camera and making split level decisions.  Prior to this program, my strength was the ability to process information. This program helped to develop pathways to think on my feet and recognize when I need to process and circle back. In the past few months, this ability has proven to be helpful, especially as much of my work has moved to a more online format.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? Great question. As I have grown as a professional, I realize there may not be one specific goal. Having an MBA degree has provided me with the ability to hold a seat at the table. Healthcare providers have excellent clinical skills, though our business skills are less than optimal. This gap is what drove me to complete my MBA. This blend of clinical and business knowledge provides me with the expertise required to translate the vision and purpose of an organization to clinicians and non-clinicians. The MBA will allow me to adapt and lead in our changing healthcare environment and thrive in a world we have not yet envisioned. I strive to impact healthcare on an institutional level by developing global awareness, sustainable practice, and changing the culture of health and wellness.

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

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