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Why I got an online MBA

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The Indiana University flag was waved during the match between the Connecticut Huskies and the Indiana Huskies, as seen at the Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Indiana in September 2019. (Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Brown—Icon Sportswire / Getty Images)

The main advantage of an online MBA degree program is the ability to pursue a degree that is likely to lead to more employment opportunities and higher income potential while maintaining your current full-time job. This flexibility was essential for Heather McDonald, a student of the Kelly Direct Online MBA Program at Indiana University.

The MBA was not always on McDonald’s radar before McDonald’s filed for late 2019. At the time, she worked full-time as a component engineer at Daimler Trucks North America, a Portland-based commercial vehicle manufacturer, and she had her bachelor’s degree from Padhu University three years ago. I did.

As the only person in the department with a background in materials engineering, McDonald took more responsibility in her role and sought to move to a more strategic role within Dimler. She was competent and enthusiastic about the prospects for managing other roles, but her experience was too technical and limited in scope, so she decided to earn an MBA. Her first term at Kelly Direct was February 2020, and she also earned a double Master’s degree in Business Analysis through Kelly Direct.

After launching these online programs, McDonald’s was promoted to Product Manager on the Engineering Project Management Team at Daimler Trucks North America. She is currently part of the company’s engineering platform management, leading the development program in this role and serving as the primary contact for all external engineering departments, including product strategy, manufacturing, sales and services.

“This is a multi-faceted role that uses all of my previous knowledge and technical background and provides enough real-time practice to take advantage of the MBA,” says McDonald’s. “Now I feel like I have a lot of opportunities in front of me.”

And perhaps after earning both degrees in November 2022, McDonald’s is more business-centric, learning and adapting what it has learned from the Master’s degree in MBA and Business Analysis programs, and ultimately expanding into the global market. I want to move to the role of. ..

luck I talked to Kelly Direct students to find out why she got an online MBA through the second-place program. luckAnd why other experts might think the same way.

The following interview has been edited for brevity and clarity

luck: When did you want to get this degree?

At that time, I wanted to go beyond the powertrain engineering of the automotive industry and quickly expand my exposure to opportunities, disciplines and information. I’ve been trying to break into another part of the company for about a year, but failed because of my personal branding and resume experience.

Therefore, I decided to get a bachelor’s degree because the MBA, especially the Kelly Direct MBA, is ideal for full-time professionals. Not only does this material take me beyond my engineering background, but my classmates also take a deeper look at the opportunities around me and inspire me to create my personal brand. It meant giving me a ration.

luck: Is your current position the type of role you were thinking of when you decided to get an MBA?

Yes and no. At that time, I was determined to want only a product strategy type role. When I tried it, the interview told me that I was too technical. I was so focused on one goal and never deviated from it that I needed a lot of coaching in-house to get me on the other potential path towards this goal.

The engineering platform management role accurately checks many boxes of what I was looking for, in terms of a broader understanding of how exposure and management decisions work. I’m currently developing very large projects rapidly, some of which are over $ 100 million and have high management exposure for reporting. What I learned at the MBA makes me feel that the foundation for ideas and communication is solid.

luck: Have you considered another type of master’s degree?

If I had decided to get a master’s degree from the undergraduate school right away, it would definitely have been an engineering path. This was because I was surrounded by technical work in my first role at the time and mechanical engineers in my department. I was considering everything from a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, manufacturing engineering, and materials engineering.

luck: Why did you choose the online program specially?

I wanted to learn and develop academically in business while continuing to make professional progress in my full-time role. I didn’t want to have gaps in my profession resume at graduation or the disadvantages of being in the student market rather than the profession market.

In addition, the cost of education in the United States is so high that I wanted to offer myself this degree without a loan or other types of student debt. Already established in my role and engineering field, I felt I could manage the time and full-time work required for my master’s degree.

luck: What is the takeaway from your program that you would have had a hard time getting without an MBA?

Since my network of contacts was an engineering type role, it was difficult to gain business insight and exposure to different industries and roles without an MBA. It wasn’t impossible, but it took more effort and time to reach the same point I am now. In addition, an MBA is a stepping stone for many people like me who want to shift their careers, and without an MBA it would take much longer to shift a personal brand as it would be the focus rather than an engineering degree. I did. ..

The confidence gained from having to interact with people at the management level of the program, such as managerial classmates, and collaborate with others from a variety of technical and non-technical backgrounds. , The role of communication inside and outside engineering that has given me a really good leverage in my present day.

Find out how the school you’re considering has reached the rankings of Fortune’s best business analytics program, Data science programs, and part-time, executive, full-time, And an online MBA program.