Top and Brightest Online MBAs of 2021: Andrew Solomon, Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)

“Professionally driven father of two, husband, football fanatic, car enthusiast and amateur wine sommelier on weekends.”

Age: 31

Hometown: Windsor, Connecticut

Fun fact about yourself: I have never lived anywhere where the teams I support are located. For example, I live in CT but am a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles and New York Mets fan.

Undergraduate School and Diploma: Bucknell University, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME). “Ray Bucknell !!

Where are you currently working? Collins Aerospace, Senior Director of Emerging Technologies

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am very proud to have helped launch the Tesla Model X. We achieved something technically and programmatically that was not possible on paper. We made it reality through the strength of will, dedication and courage.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? I chose Tepper because of the quantitative bias of the academic program and the hybrid approach of the program which allowed me to gain in-person educational experience while continuing my professional growth.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? Flexibility, which allowed me to pursue studies while working and supporting my family. Additionally, Tepper’s online MBA has allowed me to develop personal relationships that I believe will last a lifetime.

What was most surprising about an online learning environment? How transparent everything can be when technology and program align. It was like an in-person experience at home.

How does your online experience compare to your classroom experience as an undergraduate student?The online experience required a higher level of dedication and focus compared to in-person undergraduate learning. Unlike an in-person undergraduate degree, getting a degree while working full time required me to actively eliminate outside distractions and prioritize my responsibilities and goals.

What would you change in an online MBA program? I would improve integration between full-time and online students. Find ways to build bridges and networks. While students’ goals and stage in life may vary, there is no reason why it should not be mutually beneficial to maximize each other’s perspectives and experiences.

How has your online training helped you in your current job? My online education has been transformative for me. This allowed me to move from purely technical engineering to program management. I used the skills I learned directly in two promotions. Most importantly, the leadership skills I learned have allowed me to grow in ways I could not have imagined prior to my online training, which has been mutually beneficial for me and my organization.

Number of hours per week devoted to the online MBA: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I will be a high level P / L executive.

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