2023 Best & Brightest Online MBA: Lynn Isaak, University of Florida (Warrington)         

Lynn Isaak         

University of Florida, Warrington Online MBA

“A kindly bold entrepreneur with a passion for learning and a zest for continuous growth.”

Age: 55

Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Fun fact about yourself: Jumped out of a perfectly good plane at 12,000 feet and loved it!

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of South Florida, BSCE (Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering)

Where are you currently working? Foresight Planning and Engineering Services, LLC., Engineering Services Director

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of being a mentor to others throughout my career. I’ve mentored both formally and informally and am most passionate about inspiring young women. I was super proud when my mentee of three years got a full ride scholarship in Mechanical Engineering to the University of Houston. She inspired me to go back to get my MBA through her achievements and our mentoring relationship. The achievement that resulted in me going back to school to get my MBA is my most proud achievement and it was through mentoring and inspiring others that I was inspired to take the leap!

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? I chose the University of Florida online MBA program because, first, I always wanted to be a Gator. My brother went to UF Dental School, and my sister-in-law went to UF Law School. We had no one in my family who graduated from UF Business School until me! Second, I performed an comparison of many online MBA programs and considered ranking and overall cost along with the alignment of the curriculum with my goals. UF Warrington came out on top!

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? My favorite part of being a part of an online MBA program was that I got to meet and work with other students from around the world and in many different professions. I expanded my horizons on other business types and environments through these interactions. From being students together online, we have formed life-long relationships.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? I was surprised at the technology that allowed for a seamless learning experience. Who knew that you could proctor a test, work collaboratively with people from around the world, and have meaningful learning coming from pre-recorded videos? It was fantastic to have the opportunity to learn 100% online!

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? I enjoyed the online experience in different ways than the in-person classroom. I engaged more through the online program to be sure that I got to know everyone, and I was more intentional about being social and getting to know everyone in the program.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? Engage! Say “yes” to the opportunities that are offered to you as a student! From traveling for experiential studies with new people that you may not know from your program to attending in-person residency weekends, there are many ways to get involved and create your own experiences.

What would you change about an online MBA Program? I would have loved to have more opportunities to meet in person to meet both my fellow students and the professors. I started the program during COVID, and the in-person opportunities became available at the tail end of my 2-year program.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? I’m more open to opportunities and possibilities from my online education. I’m able to think creatively and have the confidence to take risks knowing that I have my education to rely upon. I also am more positive about others getting online degrees knowing what I gained from my experience – highly recommend!

Did you earn a promotion while in the program or immediately after graduation? Yes, I was promoted from a position where I had spent 10 years. While the position was one that I loved and was able to grow it into more during that tenure, I was ready for my next challenge and to put my new-found confidence to work in a new position. I’m now in a new position where I have the ability and confidence to be the entrepreneur that I dreamed of being prior to getting my MBA.

Why did you pursue an online MBA program instead of a full-time residential program? I live out-of-state from where I wanted to attend business school. There are fine universities in my home state of Texas that have stellar MBA programs. However, they were cost prohibitive. Additionally, I have a full-time career and couldn’t stop working to go back to business school economically speaking.

Number of Hours Per Week Spent on an Online MBA: 15-25 hours/week – but it could have been more. It’s not work if you love it! My MBA studies were my hobby during COVID. When we started to be more relaxed with in-person restrictions, I noticed that my studies seemed to be more time consuming.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I want to be the owner of an engineering firm and affect the growth and strategy of the firm over the next 10 years!


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