Top and Brightest Online MBAs of 2021: Michael Reid Hyland, Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)

“Compassion first. Family oriented. Passionate about music. Dog lover. Adventure seeker. Passionate investor. A problem solver. “

Age: 27

Hometown: Annapolis, Maryland

Fun fact about yourself: Currently in black as a musician in an acoustic guitar duet with my brother Erik.

Undergraduate School and Diploma: BS & MS Electrical Engineering, University of Maryland

Where are you currently working? Manager, Innovation Ecosystems – Northrop Grumman

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am very proud of the transitions I have made during my brief career and my ability to adapt and learn new things. When I joined Northrop in 2017, all of my experience was based on engineering in a lab environment. Northrop offered me a rotation opportunity which allowed me to gain experience in other areas such as operations, strategy, competitive analysis and now management within our innovation ecosystem. . Decide to quit my doctorate. program in Maryland and pivot to pursue something well outside my skills was difficult but rewarding. Looking back, I’m glad I took this step, as it has not only made me a more complete leader, but also a better person inside and outside the workplace.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? When I started my MBA search, I was looking for a part-time program that would strengthen my skills and complete my transition out of engineering without having to give up my full-time career. I ended up choosing Tepper’s part-time online hybrid program because of their ranking and focus on analytics. Additionally, the merit of the online MBA program matches the caliber of the full-time program.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? The flexibility of an online environment is unmatched. Having the ability to attend classes from anywhere gives me more time to focus on excellence in my personal and professional life for an accessible work-life balance. For example, it takes the stress out of rushing out of work to make it to class on time or missing family events to be physically in a classroom. My life was not built around school. Instead, the online program is designed to complement your already existing schedule, which was an incredible convenience. Teachers and teaching assistants also take the time to be available during busy student schedules, such as weekends.

WWhat has been the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? The sense of community that Tepper cultivates in his online cohorts is something special and will be my most valuable part of this experience. I initially assumed that participating online from home would be isolating. Fortunately, this unique learning environment provided plenty of opportunities to build relationships through group work, happy zooming hours, and of course, in-person access weekends. We all faced a similar challenge of juggling work, school and family, which made it easier to relate to each other. This fostered a strong sense of community which allowed us to come together throughout the program.

How does your online experience compare to your classroom experience as an undergraduate student? Tepper started out at a much more demanding time in my life and the online experience was shaped around those demands. In the first cycle, free time was more abundant. At the same time, I felt much more aligned with my peers and the engaging courses throughout the online MBA program. People in this program spend their free time learning because they are really curious. Their ambition is contagious and the value of the program is reflected in their strong work ethic.

What is your best advice to a candidate for success in an online MBA program? Kiss him. Take advantage of the ups and downs. Never be afraid to ask questions. Nobody is perfect.

What would you change in an online MBA program? The reputation. Online learning in general has carried an unfair stigma that it is easier and less demanding. I would defend Tepper’s online MBA program to be just as, if not more effective, than the full-time program. Professors consistently provide feedback on how engaged and curious students are online about what they’re used to. I think a lot of us are putting in the extra hours to get past it because we are proactively choosing to be here.

How has your online training helped you in your current job? In almost every class I’ve taken at Tepper, there are a few hidden gems that have really changed the way I think about it and completely reframed the way I approach problems. I chose to participate in the entrepreneurship track at Tepper, which provided me with the skills and knowledge to bring an entrepreneurial spirit to the Innovation team of a great defense entrepreneur. The leadership skills that Tepper emphasizes helped me move from engineering to management.

Number of hours per week devoted to the online MBA: ten

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? Starting my own business is the ultimate goal. I would love to have the opportunity to create jobs and have a positive impact on a community by focusing on building better education systems in city centers.


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About Perry Perrie

Perry Perrie

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