2023 Best & Brightest Online MBA: Jennie Wunderlich, University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium    

Jennie Wunderlich                

University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium

“I strive to be a positive transformational leader who is continuously learning and encouraging others.”

Age: 42

Hometown: Kalona, Iowa

Fun fact about yourself: I am a 4-H leader and enjoy helping my kids prepare their chickens and dogs for the county fair.

Undergraduate School and Degree: United States Military Academy, Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering

Where are you currently working? PSC Distribution and Studio H2O Kitchen & Bath Showroom, President/Co-Owner

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am incredibly thankful to have played a role in growing our showroom team from three to twelve and expanding our offering from plumbing to now also include cabinetry, countertops, hardware, and lighting. I find incredible joy and purpose in building teams and embracing new challenges, so this growth really meant a lot to me personally and helped my family business experience previously unreached opportunities.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? I primarily chose the UW MBA Consortium because it was a high-ranking online program for a good price. It also had flexibility I needed to participate in the program.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? My favorite part of being in an online MBA program was the ability to virtually meet and work with incredible people from all over the country. Interacting with and learning from other students with very diverse backgrounds and professions added a tremendous amount of value and fun throughout the program.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? The most surprising thing about an online learning environment was how well I was able to get to know people from across time zones and cultures and work together to mutually grow and produce results.

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? My online experience was completely different than my undergraduate experience. During the online program I was balancing working in our business while being a wife and mom. During this stage of my life, I am responsible for many more people than I was during my undergraduate studies, so learning to manage my schoolwork alongside my other priorities was much more complex. However, I also have greater perspective and life experiences than I did while at West Point, as well as over ten years in our business, which helped me determine what I should focus on in my classes to most benefit our company.

What would you change about an online MBA Program? I would provide more opportunities for live video discussions with my classmates and instructors. While it’s difficult to always coordinate, I think video conversation and live teaching would assist with learning the material and gaining greater insights from instructors and fellow students.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? My online MBA education has helped me improve as a leader, especially in gaining tools for having challenging conversations, managing change in our business, and learning how to provide better work-life balance for our employees. The program also helped me learn excellent leadership insight from required reading such as Good to Great and Leading Change.

Did you earn a promotion while in the program or immediately after graduation? While in the program, I earned a promotion from Showroom Manager to President and Co-owner.

Why did you pursue an online MBA program instead of a full-time residential program? My full-time job, as well as my responsibilities as a wife and mom, do not allow enough time to pursue a full-time residential program. An online program was the best way for me to set my own pace and schedule to obtain my degree.

Number of Hours Per Week Spent on an Online MBA: The hours I spent per week depended on how heavy a courseload I was taking. On average, I spent about 10-12 hours/week per course. I wanted to complete the program quickly, so I took as many courses as I could handle to finish the program in 2-1/2 years.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I am considering running for public office one day, possibly for the U.S. Senate. My goal is to be an impactful leader in an often-negative space, encouraging others to take positive action to improve their families and communities.


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