Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business
“Charismatic Introvert who enjoys new challenges and loves a plan.”
Hometown: Hartland, Michigan
Fun fact about yourself: I was a walk-on student athlete at Michigan and ended up with four varsity letters. Go Blue!
Undergraduate School and Degree:
University of Michigan, BSE Mechanical Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University, MBA
Where are you currently working? I worked at Halliburton when I started the program and made a pivot to consulting with the skills gained at Tepper. In July I will start as an Associate with McKinsey and Company in the Pittsburgh office.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? During my time at Halliburton, I transitioned to multiple geographies and disciplines. I am most proud of taking on the challenge of these changes, learning completely new roles and asking questions. My most dramatic transition was from an operations manager in the UK to a Manager of Investor Relations based in Houston. This change took me outside of my technical and operations comfort zone and made me look at the company on a holistic level and from the perspective of an investor. My technical background proved valuable in discussing the market changes with the investment community and allowed me to better understand the goals and perspectives of the management team as they balance internal and external demands.
Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? The Tepper online program offers rigorous analytical skills and executive level soft skill development. This dual focus, the small cohort size, and the access weekends are why I chose Tepper. The online program at Tepper is not a set course list. This customization and multiple styles of capstone projects appealed to me as I knew I wanted to gain skills in finance and strategy, but wanted the flexibility to learn about entrepreneurship and data analytics.
What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? The best part of being in an online program is that your life gets to continue while you are in school. You can immediately apply a skill from class in your daily work and have children or get married, and it all seems manageable. The cohorts created at Tepper become a team that is looking to help each other succeed with their goals and will help one another when times are tough. My cohort took every challenge that the past three years threw at us and worked together to ensure we got a rich education, maintained connections with one another, and exceeded our professional goals.
How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? The cohort size for my MBA was significantly smaller than my engineering undergraduate at Michigan. In undergrad, you are learning new skills, but you are also becoming an adult and that comes with unique pressure and stress. The goal of an undergrad is to get a job and prove to yourself and others that you can become something. The online MBA is much different. Most students have a focus to gain skills and maybe transition roles or companies, but they know who they are as a person. They come into the program with rich histories and this knowledge will help educate the cohort. Learning from the experiences of my cohort is one of the most enriching parts of the online MBA. We might all be discussing the same problem but the student with 25 years in the army or the former professional football player will bring a different perspective than I have as a person with a decade at the same company.
What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? The school wants you to succeed in the program and in life, so dive in, ask questions, and for help. Talk to your cohort – it is easy to log on and log off of class but there is a real value in learning from one another.
What would you change about an online MBA Program? Tepper does a good job of providing access to a variety of classes but the one thing I would change is to offer more of the full-time program classes in the online setting.
How has your online education helped you in your current job? The classes I took helped me better understand the team dynamics of the new office I was working in, making it easier for me to build trust and make an impact. The courses also helped me to feel prepared to transition away from my current role and to seek new opportunities.
Did you earn a promotion while in the program or immediately after graduation? I earned a promotion through moving to another company.
Did you earn a raise during the online MBA program? Yes.
Number of Hours Per Week Spent On Online MBA: The number of hours per week varied based on workload and personal and professional commitments. It probably averaged 15 hours per week.
What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? My ultimate professional goal is to have a fulfilling career that I enjoy and that supports my life. I have had a lot of changes in my career path and I like the variety of locations, roles and the challenges that it has provided. I seek to maintain this diversity of challenges but with a little less moving around the world.
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