2022 Best & Brightest Online MBA: Anthony Duellman, University of Maryland (Smith)

Anthony Duellman

University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business

“Experienced, flexible, astute systems expert with proven track record meeting business needs with technology solutions.”

Age: 37

Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio

Fun fact about yourself: I’m the seventh of my name. I can trace the name of my father and grandfathers back about 200 years.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Kent State University, B.B.A. Computer Information Systems with a minor in Computer Science

Where are you currently working? Marriott International, Senior Systems Administrator in Risk Management IT

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? The implementation and adoption of our Risk Management Information System that I support has removed so many walls between teams and led to a much more functional and capable Risk Management department. It’s also allowed me to work very closely alongside the whole department full of wonderful hardworking people.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? The Maryland Smith OMBA was attractive to me because it would allow me to gain management skills and experience while continuing to grow in my current professional role. The school has a great reputation among all of the alumni that I’ve met and consistently shows up in the rankings of the nation’s best MBA programs. The in-person residencies where I would get to be a part of my campus and cohort were the icing on the cake.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? There was so much interaction with classmates. Every class had breakout sessions, group projects, and discussion forums. The MBA students are just a different breed, and you really felt like you were working with likeminded and motivated individuals to tackle interesting and difficult concepts and challenges.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? The most surprising thing to me was how much access we had to the professors and TAs despite being remote. Without fail, the professors were responsive and accessible. Many gave out their personal phone numbers and even held virtual office hours.

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? There’s no replicating an in-class experience, but the current technology has some aspects that make you feel even more connected, such as the wall of familiar faces, breakout rooms, and frequent questions from the professors. With undergrad, the learning happened in class while in the OMBA the learning happened remotely and the application happened in class. This made the learning environment arguably more interactive since students were fully expected to already know the material enough to employ it.

What would you change about an online MBA Program? There does need to be a disconnection from the computer. Some classes achieved this very well. Entrepreneurship forced us to create our own business. Our Action Learning Project allowed us to partner with real companies. Corporate Venturing directed us to go inside our current companies and learn what opportunities exist there. Every class should strive to have a similar component where we interact with real business, the college, or the community.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? Once you learn this curriculum, it’s hard not to see it everywhere. Within my career, it has helped me really understand business needs and apply technology to meet those needs. The specialization opportunity to focus on information systems has really empowered me to look at and work with data in a more efficient and targeted manner. I’m far better equipped now to do data modeling and predictive analytics for my business.

Did you earn a promotion while in the program or immediately after graduation? Not yet. I’m confident that post-graduation this achievement will open me up to new challenges and opportunities in management.

Did you earn a raise during the online MBA program? I have.

Number of Hours Per Week Spent On Online MBA: We were told to anticipate spending an hour or two each night and then one of our two weekend days working on the MBA. To me that was very accurate, so I’d estimate about 12 hours a week.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? My ultimate long-term goal is to empower businesses through my experiences matching technology platforms to business needs. Down the road, I could see staying in my current industry and becoming an IT manager, or I could see starting my own consulting business designing and implementing software solutions for companies.



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