2023 Best & Brightest Online MBA: Daniel Ribeiro, University of Florida (Warrington)

Daniel Ribeiro

University of Florida, Warrington Online MBA

“Energetic engineer blending technical expertise with business acumen while making the world a better place.”

Age: 26

Hometown: Jupiter, Florida

Fun fact about yourself: On my father’s side of the family, I am the only person that is over 6 feet tall.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering, University of Florida

Master of Science in Systems Engineering, University of Florida

Where are you currently working?

Systems Engineer & DOORS Enterprise Administrator, Aerojet Rocketdyne

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? At Lockheed Martin, I was part of a small, young team that successfully executed a flight test on an experimental aircraft. Our team was nominated for a prestigious award within the company for our efforts.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? I had an amazing undergraduate experience at the University of Florida and was excited at the prospect of returning. I had also heard that the program provided exceptional career services and the overall program was highly ranked on value for money.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? The opportunity to be a cohort representative and interact with most peers on a regular basis was my favorite part of the program. My cohort consisted of a very diverse group of individuals from a variety of industries. Even though we were spread across the US, I had plenty of opportunities to get to know a truly exceptional group of people.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? I honestly did not expect many opportunities to interact with professors. In almost every class, professors were exceptionally available for office hours, 1-on-1 meetings, and more. This elevated my experience in the program to another level.

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? I missed the camaraderie of sitting amongst a group of young engineers struggling through difficult coursework during undergraduate studies. I did not miss the stress of sprinting to morning lectures or spending several hours in a crowded exam room. I wouldn’t say I prefer one experience over the other, but there is a huge contrast.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? Go out of your way to meet people. Very few individuals enter an MBA program already possessing all the skills they need to be successful. Meeting your cohort is a great way to pick up skills from each other and network along the way.

What would you change about an online MBA Program? Provide more opportunities for cohorts to interact in-person. Some of the best experiences I had in the program were the rare chances I got to meet my classmates in person.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? My manager has increased my scope of responsibilities and identified me as an emerging leader. This has put me in line for a near-term promotion.

Did you earn a promotion while in the program or immediately after graduation? I was told I will be receiving a promotion immediately following graduation.

Why did you pursue an online MBA program instead of a full-time residential program? I couldn’t justify the cost and career disruption to pursue a full-time residential program. An online MBA program gave me the flexibility to continue to advance in my career while still obtaining a graduate degree.

Number of Hours Per Week Spent on an Online MBA: 10-20 hours per week (varies by semester)

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? Obtain a c-suite position within the aerospace industry or run a successful startup.


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