2023 Best & Brightest Online MBA: McGeady Bushnell, University of Maryland (Smith)

McGeady Bushnell

University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business

“Agile leader with a passion for helping people, driving progress, and building strong successful teams.”

Age: 29

Hometown: Severna Park, Maryland

Fun fact about yourself: One of 10 Children

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of South Carolina, Economics

Where are you currently working? US Naval Officer (Arlington, VA). Currently serving as a Congressional & Legislative Liaison for the Navy’s Chief of Naval Personnel

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Being selected for my current role where I directly aid the Navy’s Chief of Personnel who is responsible for all personnel policy and legislation for the 451,000-plus Navy sailors and their families. I am proud of this because my actions and strategic messaging development directly impact the lives of so many Americans who are protecting our country.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? It provided me with a means to earn a STEM-focused business degree that included a synchronist learning environment while still allowing the flexibility to work a demanding job.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? Having the ability to immediately apply concepts from the program to every aspect of my professional career.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? The amount of influence students in this program can have on the Smith School as a whole. Access to the staff, including the Dean, was widely available, which was extremely useful on an academic and professional level.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? Set and look to achieve goals for yourself before starting the program, during each semester and each term. Look to understand each class before you enroll in them to ensure the course outcomes align with what you ultimately hope to achieve in earning an MBA.

What would you change about an online MBA Program? I would expand the catalog of courses that are available each term. Because of the online setting, there are limitations to the types of classes offered as compared to the full-time MBA. With the rapid evolvement of virtual education offerings in the MBA market, I believe this is something that will be addressed in the near future.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? The direct application of course concepts to my everyday job significantly provided me with different strategic frameworks to solve complex quantitative and qualitative problems in the workplace. Having classmates who currently work in all kinds of added a great deal of value to our class discussions in the remote setting.

Did you earn a promotion while in the program or immediately after graduation? No. While an MBA does not accelerate your promotion timeline in the military, it absolutely opened doors for me in terms of fellowship programs and future nominative job opportunities.

Why did you pursue an online MBA program instead of a full-time residential program?  The main factor that led to my decision to pursue this program was timing. I was in a position where this two-year program aligned perfectly with the two years I had left in my current role before I would separate from the Navy. I am a strong believer in continuous education and my goal before leaving the Navy to enter the business sector was to earn a degree. The flexibility of this program allowed me to do that, and the timing could not have worked any better.

Number of Hours Per Week Spent on an Online MBA: 10-20. Heavily dependent on whether the course is quantitative or qualitative and if it requires group work.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? To become a trusted technical expert in the medical device sales community and grow into a leadership role where I can have a strategic leadership position over a region/area.


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