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Brukman and Rustad Named Poets&Quants' Online Best & Brightest MBAs

MBA@Nebraska Alumni Recognized for High Academic Achievement
Brukman and Rustad Named Poets&Quants' Online Best & Brightest MBAs
Galina Brukman, ’21, and Jessica Rustad, ’05 & ’21, both graduates from the MBA@Nebraska program, earned spots on Poets&Quants Online Best & Brightest MBAs. The annual recognition includes high-achieving online MBA graduates from all over the world.

Galina Brukman, ’21, and Jessica Rustad, ’05 & ’21, recently represented the University of Nebraska MBA@Nebraska program when chosen as Poets&Quants Online Best & Brightest MBAs. Selected for their strong academic performance, critical and consistent contributions, striking personal narratives and innate potential, the graduates shared about their experiences while in the fully online program.

“I chose Nebraska because it has such a great reputation for being one of the best online MBA programs and the program lived up to my expectations,” said Brukman, the director of sourcing and procurement at Refinitiv, from Cliffside, New Jersey. 

Both graduates talked about their positive educational experiences online.

“Each class moved at a fairly rapid but manageable pace over an eight-week time span. Through in-depth coursework – both individual and group, plus weekly announcements, lectures, case studies and class discussions – an online education encouraged a lot of human interaction,” said Rustad, a Lincoln, Nebraska, native.

Rustad shared how she built relationships with others at Nebraska.

“I felt like I actually made stronger connections with the faculty and my fellow peers in the online program because there were so many opportunities for sharing, discussing and analyzing real-world life experiences, case studies and current events,” she said.

For Brukman, who spent between 10-15 hours every week on her online degree, the accessibility of the MBA@Nebraska program helped make for a seamless transition between her work life and academic career.

“The 100% asynchronous course content allows students to log in and listen to lectures and participate in discussions at their own time. That makes it easy to take classes regardless of the time zone and makes it possible to keep with the pace of a full-time career at the same time,” she said.

As a person who loves to travel, Brukman appreciated the virtual setting. The unique learning environment allowed for deeper connections with classmates, even for someone on the go.

“One great upside of online learning is there is more opportunity to interact with more people in the class via the Canvas platform because class discussions are not limited to specific class time. That provides opportunities to enter into conversations with more people and learn more about their points of view,” said Brukman.

Outside of the classroom, the program also impacted their careers. As the current vice president of communications and marketing and Farmers Mutual of Nebraska, Rustad explained how the MBA@Nebraska program helped her achieve professional goals and milestones.

“My online MBA education not only helped me become an executive-level leader, it also provided me with the insight, critical thinking skills and ability to take a holistic-view approach to the work I do and challenges that may arise so that I may better serve all stakeholders,” said Rustad.

Now as a recent alum, Brukman advises those interested in pursuing an online MBA degree to recognize the opportunities it presents and be open to the experiencing the perks of online learning.

“Being part of a 100% online program at Nebraska helped me focus on my career goals and keep up with demands of leading a team across different time zones while also pursuing my MBA. This kind of flexibility is the reason that I applied to Nebraska and I couldn’t be happier,” she said.

To learn more about the MBA@Nebraska program, visit:

To read the Poets&Quants article, visit:

Published: June 29, 2021

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