2021 Best & Brightest Online MBAs: Melissa Ritter Hermanson, Drexel University    

Melissa Ritter Hermanson           

Drexel University’s Online MBA

“Determined, flexible, optimistic, nurturing, collaborative, quirky, intelligent, professional, organized, ethical, mentor, fun-loving, reader, fair, competent.”

Age: 50

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona

Fun fact about yourself: I once won an Atari console after an all-night skate-a-thon for muscular dystrophy.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Drexel University, BSN; Drexel University, MSN (Dual MSN/MBA)

Where are you currently working? Ambulatory Care Center, Administrator

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I have had the pleasure of working with an incredible team of doctors and nurses over the last year, and am most proud of my service to our community as we maneuver through the COVID pandemic. We faced many challenges – clinically, financially and logistically – due to the pandemic, and have continued to offer the very best care to our patients.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? I attended Drexel for my BSN and have completed the coursework for my MSN there as well. I have found the faculty to be professional, experienced and engaging – all necessary qualities in an online environment.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? It was learning from my classmates and professors. The wealth of experience and knowledge is amazing, and I’ve made been fortunate to connect with several people on a personal level. We all have our strengths, and the level of support and collaboration is remarkable.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? The connectedness. I was concerned, initially, that I would feel isolated, but the professors in the program encourage networking and construct a collaborative environment.

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? The online experience allowed me the flexibility that I needed as a working nurse executive, mother, and community volunteer. Although I worked as many, if not more, hours on coursework, I could manage my tasks according to my schedule. It was optimal for this time in my life.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? Network! Get to know the people in your classes – you will likely see them in several more before you’ve earned your degree. Create study groups and happy hours to support each other.

What would you change about an online MBA Program? I would include synchronous, or “live” sessions in each course. Some of mine were completely asynchronous, and I found that challenging.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? All of the business classes have helped me grow as a surgical center administrator. With my background in critical care nursing, I feel confident in clinical decision-making, but always lacked that confidence when speaking about revenue cycle or supply chain decisions. Now, I am much more confident with the business aspects of my practice.

Number of Hours Per Week Spent On Online MBA: 15-20

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I would like to work on the national level to ensure quality healthcare for all, as well as expansion and access to nursing education programs.



Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.