2022 Best & Brightest Online MBA: Lexi Strom, North Carolina State (Jenkins)

Lexi Strom

North Carolina State University, Jenkins MBA

“Strategic marketing leader who blends a passion for creative projects with an aptitude for managing logistics.”

Age: 29

Hometown: Stafford, VA

Fun fact about yourself: I lived in Okinawa, Japan for 3 years when I was a kid.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Strategic Communications, Elon University
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA), NC State University

Where are you currently working? Global Program Marketing Manager at Red Hat

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? My proudest achievement has been completing the Jenkins MBA program while working full-time. The program required determination, a long-term vision, and a lot of caffeine, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? I chose the online MBA program at NC State because of its flexibility. I needed a program that would allow me to go at my own pace and continue to uphold my obligations at work and in my personal life.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? My favorite part of being in an online MBA program was the collaboration it offered with professors and classmates, while still maintaining its flexibility. Through video lectures, virtual office hours, and online discussions, I was able to engage with classmates and professors on my own time.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? My job requires me to travel from time to time. I was surprised at how seamless the experience was for me to continue my coursework while on the road for work.

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? The online experience has changed considerably in recent years. As the pandemic forced us all to adapt to virtual communication, the MBA program was no exception. Professors and students alike became savvier with virtual learning.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? My best advice is to take a look at multiple MBA programs at multiple institutions to determine which one is best for you. When I was applying to schools, it was important for me to find a program that was flexible enough to manage while working full-time but still contained practical, real-world applications rather than theoretical knowledge. The Jenkins MBA program at NC State was the right fit for me.

What would you change about an online MBA Program? The only thing I would change about an online MBA program is its reputation. Online MBA programs can sometimes be met with criticism, but I think a lot has changed in the last 5-10 years – especially through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. In my opinion, online programs are not only reputable; they’re vital for meeting today’s hybrid workforce where they are.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? I’ve gained knowledge, a professional network, and confidence that will stay with me for years to come.

Did you earn a promotion while in the program or immediately after graduation? No, but I did get a new job at a different company.

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

Number of Hours Per Week Spent On Online MBA: 20-25 hours per week

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? My long-term goal is to lead a successful marketing team. I’d also like to be a marketing consultant at some point in my career.

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