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A Flexible MBA for Personal and Professional Success

September 27, 2018
Student Spotlight: Bryan Neal, MBA '16

How did you feel at the start of the California State University, Monterey Bay Online MBA program vs. the end? What were your expectations, and were they met, exceeded or changed?

I am truly honored and thankful that the faculty consider me a student of distinction. I hold high regards for each of them as well as for the CSUMB Online MBA program overall.

My expectations were to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to fulfill the duties associated with the MBA, flexibly.

At the start of the program, I had apprehensions about whether or not asynchronous learning was right for me. My expectations were for a more pronounced level of flexibility and self-discipline coupled with a decrease in social interaction. To my surprise, I had an equal amount of social interaction with faculty and cohort members as I would in a brick-and-mortar setting.

By the end of the program, I found the flexibility to be critical to maintaining a full-time career position within a fast-paced large organization. The workload was very demanding but manageable.

What are some skills that you learned through the program that you now use in your professional career?

Time management, project management, business communication, strategic problem solving, research and analytics, organizational structure and processes, and leadership.

Why would you recommend the CSUMB Online MBA program to someone?

If you want to have the same admissions and grading standards as a traditional MBA program with the same curriculum and same teachers without having to waste time in your car commuting, then this is the right program for you. You attend class on your own schedule, which helps you maintain your job and keep costs down.

What project from your program are you most proud of?

Competing and winning the integrated strategy simulation project in the Business Strategy course made me the most proud of my cohort, my team and myself.

What has earning your MBA from CSUMB truly meant to you?

To me, earning a master's from CSUMB has meant personal and professional achievement coupled with the potential for higher salary and better career opportunities.

As an alumnus, what tips or advice would you give to someone who is coming into the online CSUMB program?

Understand the commitment needed coming into the program, and learn to manage your time well. Keep active in the discussions, and do not miss any assignments.

Get to know your cohort, because you are a team who will likely have strong relationships far into the future. Get to know your faculty, because they are there for you, and they are the greatest resource the program has to offer.

Interested in learning more about the Online MBA experience at CSUMB? Hear from Jose Garcia, the 2017 Outstanding MBA Graduate Award winner here.