2022 Best & Brightest Online MBA: Richard Trietley III, Indiana University (Kelley)

Richard Trietley III

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Kelley Direct Online MBA Program

“Ambitious, intellectually curious, and empathetic, I strive to make a positive impact on the world.”

Age: 30

Hometown: Allegany, NY; Currently Reston, VA; Moving to Houston, TX in September 2022

Fun fact about yourself: The day after high school graduation, I went into cardiac arrest. I had an undiagnosed electrical issue with my heart. Over the next year, I went into cardiac arrest an additional 5 times while trying to diagnose the condition and had a defibrillator implanted. There have been no further health issues I just can’t ever run a marathon.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

University of Pittsburgh, BA in Communications

Indiana University, MS in Finance (on-going at same time as MBA)

Where are you currently working? Corporate Care, Director of Client Strategy Advancement

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I think my proudest achievement is the many pivots I have encountered in my career while maintaining the ability to learn quickly and excel. I began my career with PNC Bank, where I was chosen to move from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. and attend their Leadership Training program. I was placed as one of the youngest branch managers in PNC Bank history. From there, I joined CBRE as a Procurement and Facilities Manager for a Fortune 500 firm specializing in defense and technology consulting. Here, I managed 100,000 square feet of Class A Commercial Real Estate as well as 13 national vendors with an annual spend of over $4 million. I now serve on the opposite side of the commercial real estate world, providing operations, sales, and data analytics to several Fortune 500 companies. The many pivots I have taken had helped me to develop my ultimate career goals and learn from so many talented individuals across many different industries and organizations.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program?  I chose Indiana University for its prestige and flexibility. I travel frequently for work and planned a three-day Indian wedding in October of 2021 with my now-wife, so the ability to have flex courses was a must. In addition, the Graduate School Career services at Indiana played into my decision, as my dream role will require an industry shift. The instruction I have received from this department has been vital to me planning out my career change. Finally, I decided that for the time and financial commitment of going back to school, I wanted to attend the best and really challenge myself. Indiana University has lived up to its lofty ranking and it was the best decision I have ever made (besides marrying my beautiful wife of course!).

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? The flexibility, as noted above, has been paramount to my MBA experience. In addition, an online MBA program contains so many incredibly talented students from all over the world. I have had the opportunity to meet and learn from so many other students – not only class material, but cultural and industry knowledge. I am in awe at the talent Indiana University brings in and being in-person would shut the door to understanding other roles and companies as we all have full-time jobs as well.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? This is not specific to Indiana University, but the acumen and backgrounds of the professors has been a surprise. Indiana University professors are the same ones teaching the in-residence program so there is no drop-off in talent and information being presented. Personally, I am also surprised at how successful I have been with an online learning environment. I had reservations about it at first, but it is conducive to my life and work and there has been no drop-off in my quality of learning.

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student?  It has been nearly the same in terms of content and quality. Going from multiple classes per week to only one in person is the only big difference, but the supplemental asynchronous videos and additional content means there is no drop-off in quality. I have had to be more hands-on in my learning in making sure I watch and learn from the additional content, but it is satisfying to also know that my outside of class performance directly impacts my experience. Basically, the online experience forces you to personally own your learning and development and I have thrived in this environment.

What would you change about an online MBA Program?  I only wish we had more in-person experiences. My favorite time in this program has been in the on-campus case competitions that we had to attend as a course. The intensity of the multi-day cases, combined with the networking and meeting your professors in-person, is an exhausting but incredibly rewarding experience. Also learning from actual clients and seeing your ideas implemented in real time is an outstanding experience and helped me to realize my love for consulting and strategy. Furthermore, the fact that my team won both competitions we took place in instilled confidence in me that this is a viable career alternative. The diversity of the teams I worked with also created creative ideas and lifelong friends. I wish we had more opportunities to take part in these exercises.

How has your online education helped you in your current job?  From a purely logistical standpoint, it has been great not having to sacrifice my career for the MBA. Being online allows me to attend class from any location, even if you are out of the country. From a development perspective, the online MBA has opened the door to several business units I have never had experience with, from operations management to strategy and finance. I have taken this knowledge and directly applied it to my current work, allowing me to engage and learn practically from other business units.

Did you earn a promotion while in the program or immediately after graduation? I have been promised a promotion upon my current move to Houston to join my corporate headquarters. I do not know the title change, but it will involve more internal corporate strategy initiatives such as digital transformation and change management.

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

Number of Hours Per Week Spent On Online MBA: Anywhere from 5-20 hours depending on course load and exams.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? My goal is to transition into the consulting world and work for one of the Big 4 consulting agencies. I would like to work within management or strategic consulting, helping clients to navigate complex business problems with innovative solutions. I would love for my next company move to be my final company move, and to conclude my career within a leadership position at the firm. I also aspire to open my own business combining a community restaurant with a bookstore and focus on promoting local artists and thinkers. The company would serve as a community involvement tool designed to bring everyone together under the banner of empathy and understanding of other experiences. Finally, my blue-sky goal is to publish my own epic fantasy series. It is a dream I have had since I was a child, regardless of commercial success. Once my MBA and MS in Finance are complete, I will be dedicating the newfound time to making this dream a reality.




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