Online MBA 2022 Best & Brightest: Maria Ilundain, Arizona State (WP Carey)

“I am an avid learner, dedicated team player, and analytical thinker.”

Age: 26

Hometown: Portland, OR

Fun fact about yourself: My love for travel was inspired by my upbringing. I had the good fortune to live in three different countries – Brazil, the Netherlands and the United States – where I was immersed in various cultures and interacted with people from all walks of life from a very young age. age.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Michigan State University, Supply Chain Management

Where are you currently working? Intel Corporation, Supply Chain Technical Analyst

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am proud to pursue and complete my MBA in 22 months while excelling in my professional supply chain role, which has become increasingly fast-paced and complex due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am proud to have been able to balance my professional career and the pursuit of higher education, which has always been my goal since obtaining my undergraduate degree.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? I chose ASU’s online MBA program because I felt the program really set me up for success from the start. It was clear to me that the program was designed with working professionals in mind. This ranged from the program pace of taking one course at a time, to access to career centers and job fairs, to being able to choose from various areas of concentration based on individual interests and goals.

What was your favorite part of an online MBA program? I loved that online students still have access to many of the opportunities that full-time students have. For example, for me, I loved having the opportunity to study abroad in Prague, Czech Republic in March 2022 with classmates not only from the online MBA program but also from the Full-time and Executive MBA. It was an unforgettable opportunity to network with other MBA students and professors from WP Carey’s business schools while learning how to do business in another country.

Ohat was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? I was surprised at the degree of interaction with classmates and professors that still occurs in the online learning environment. This helps students feel interconnected and gain experiences similar to an in-person learning environment. Each course has been designed with interactive elements ranging from online discussion forums to optional live sessions with peers and professors to provide opportunities for relationship building and team building. I also felt there were many opportunities where students could leverage their professional work experiences and connect them to course learning, which made the course material even more engaging and transferable. It was fascinating to learn from the professional experiences of classmates with varied backgrounds, different industry experiences, and unique problem-solving approaches to further my personal and professional development.

How does your online experience compare to your classroom experience as an undergraduate student? I really enjoyed the online experience as it allowed me to further my professional career while advancing my pedagogical learning. I felt I still had similar, valuable and challenging experiences in the online program that I got from my in-person undergraduate program, such as working with team members on case studies, presentations and projects. The online program felt very interactive to me, despite being online and asynchronous. I also really liked that the online program allowed me to go at my own pace and was more flexible in how I could fit learning into my schedule.

What is your best advice to a candidate for success in an online MBA program? My best advice is to stay organized, plan ahead, and rely on the support system around you. Don’t forget to schedule rest days so you can take a break and recharge your batteries.

What would you change about an online MBA program? I would have liked to participate in the in-person orientation at the start of the program, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was not possible for my cohort. I think having an in-person orientation at the start of the program and potentially another cohort-wide in-person meetup on the ASU campus halfway through the program would have been helpful in expanding relationships with others in the program.

Did you get promoted while in the program or immediately after graduation? I won a title change and a raise

Did you get a raise during the online MBA program? Yes

Number of hours per week devoted to the online MBA: 30 hours/week

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? My long-term professional goal is to leverage the skills I learned through my MBA program to propel my career into becoming a well-rounded businesswoman. My goal is to apply the managerial thinking and decision-making, cross-functional teamwork, and business data analysis skills I have developed to become a supply chain leader and mentor to others. members of my organization.