2022 Best & Brightest Online MBA: Emily Preslar, North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)

Emily “Michelle” Preslar

University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School

“Experiences life to the fullest with my husband, twin daughters, pets, family and friends.”

Age: 44

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

Fun fact about yourself: I ran the NYC marathon.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of North Carolina – Charlotte, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Where are you currently working? Roshal Imaging as Vice President of Business Development

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? When COVID hit, I was in a sales training role with a global medical device company. I led the initiative for multi-divisional corporate video conferencing training, and the transformational change of processes and application of technology into the traditional in-person medical-sales environment.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? COVID self-reflection led me to revisit obtaining my MBA. At first, I was skeptical of the quality of an online MBA. Once this long-time Tar Heel fan realized that MBA@UNC was ranked #1, I was ready to enroll.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? Hands-down – the flexibility. It helps you feel as if you really can “do it all.” The elimination of travel time to classes and team project meetings enables you to spend more time to spend with family, work, and other necessary activities.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? The quantity and quality of live interaction. “Online” is simply the forum for my new global network. Geography is not a constraint for the “best and brightest” professors or students. All of my classes involved working with individuals from the U.S. and multiple countries. The diversity of thought and experience brings life to education.

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? In both instances, your experience correlates to your personal investment. Just like in-person undergrad, you can be as engaged as fits your personality. For example, you make friends in an online MBA – the people to whom you can professionally and personally relate. You learn the individuals who you want on your team projects (and the ones that you don’t)! Additionally, MBA@UNC offers a tremendous variety of experiences, such as the opportunity to take cross-program classes (Full-Time, Weekend Executive, Evening Executive), on-campus or international Summits, global programs (such as Doing Business In) and other experiential programs like STAR (Student Teams Achieving Results), consulting work on real business problems with a client. Personally, I served as a Project Leader for STAR, Social Chair for the Student Advisory Board, partnered with Kenan Cares (philanthropic activities), and enjoyed in-person summits and an on-campus class.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? Time management and organization is critical. The flexibility of an online MBA makes it easy to over-commit yourself – professionally and personally.

What would you change about an online MBA Program? Improve corporate marketing and education. Individuals are familiar with in-person education. COVID encouraged everyone to learn and embrace online engagement. With over 10 years of experience, MBA@UNC has brought the opportunity of a top-ranked MBA to a new demographic – the aspirational mom. Yes – A full-time or executive/weekend MBA is an option. However, as a traditional caretakers for others, many women feel as if they can’t take additional time away for themselves. If allotting time for self-care is a challenge, taking time to earn an MBA might seem unattainable. MBA@UNC afforded me the opportunity to live my dream – a family, rewarding career AND obtain a top-ranked MBA. Words can’t adequately express my gratitude.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? Pairing the new hard and soft skills with learning from my peers’ global perspectives has built invaluable confidence in my corporate contributions.

Did you earn a promotion while in the program or immediately after graduation? Did you earn a raise during the online MBA program? Technically, no – I started a new job near the beginning of the MBA program.

Number of Hours Per Week Spent On Online MBA: 20+

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? Empower others through sales leadership and strategy.




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