2023 Best & Brightest Online MBA: Kristen Lazard, Boston University (Questrom)

Kristen Lazard

Boston University, Questrom School of Business

“Energetic, fun, avid reader, wife, mother, determined, curious, innovative, music, film, food, fashion, change agent.”

Age: 49

Hometown: Currently Winter Garden, FL although I lived not far from Boston during most of my studies.

Fun fact about yourself:  I was on two episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress” (TLC- aired reality show).

Undergraduate School and Degree: Cornell University, BS

Where are you currently working? The Walt Disney Company, Director of Vertical Planning

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? There are a few promotions of team members that I think of fondly, as well as some career milestones for me. However, what I am most proud of is my ability to remain flexible and nimble throughout my career.  As I think back to the roles that I’ve held, I’ve changed industries more than a couple times, and have used my skills to adapt into different types of jobs as well.  This adaptability sparks my creativity and innovative spirit, hence I continually look for ways to change it up.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? I was living in the Boston suburbs and had the opportunity to attend in-person admissions events at Boston University.  I felt a strong connection to the faculty, staff, and students that I met with. Furthermore, the Questrom School of Business has a very non-traditional curriculum that combines standard disciplines into one course per semester that mimics real world more than most.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? It was truly the flexibility of being able to partake in a global program while in the comfort of my home. And sometimes I wasn’t at home. I may have been on vacation or traveling for work, but my coursework and team were always accessible online.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? How easy it was to be engaged in a virtual environment!  Whether it was meeting with my team or a faculty member, it was fun and rewarding to be able to connect with so many online.

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? It’s hard to compare since my undergraduate studies took place several years ago, but obvious technology aside, I felt that the basics were there – live lectures, readings, assignments, and team projects.

What would you change about an online MBA Program? Certainly, there are specifics about every program that we would like to change, but overall, I was pleased with my overall program and the fact that leadership was eager to hear our feedback and make iterative changes along the way.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? I was in the unique circumstance of starting an online program in the Spring of 2020, as we were all trying to make sense of life during a pandemic. Being in an online program when much of the world was working over Zoom was a lifesaver. I learned how to conduct meetings online, be persuasive, be a respectful participant in a large meeting, and give presentations online – it was invaluable.

Did you earn a promotion while in the program or immediately after graduation? Although halfway through my studies my job was eliminated, I emerged even stronger because of this program.  It gave me the courage to start my own consulting business – something I never would have even thought of doing before business school. Ultimately, I landed a corporate role of my dreams, working for Disney.  I currently hold the most complex and challenging role ever in my career and I’m having the time of my life doing it.

Why did you pursue an online MBA program instead of a full-time residential program? A full-time residential program would never have worked for me.  I have a husband and two school- aged kids that rely on my salary. Hence, part-time was my only option.

Number of Hours/Week Spent on an Online MBA: 20

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? My long-term professional goal is to look back on my career and to know that I have made the world a better place through my efforts, with my teams, and most importantly, for my family.


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.