Josh Orellana, a son of immigrants and a first generation college student, chose the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration to earn his MBA online, completing the program in December 2016. The Texas native and economics graduate from Texas A&M University placed a high level of importance on choosing a Big Ten institution offering both credibility and value.
When considering schools, Orellana compared online MBA programs from across the country. Nebraska’s value stood out from other nationally-ranked programs.
“Nebraska was a no-brainer. The cost and convenience was right for a Big Ten school. I loved the affordability of it, with the flexibility of online education. However, the biggest value-add for me was the collaborative friendly environment in an online setting. Nebraska’s faculty are really able to embrace the online format and make it feel like you still have a home at CBA.”
Orellana, a technology investment banking analyst at Duff & Phelps in San Francisco enjoyed the flexibility of online learning at Nebraska.
“Doing my MBA online at Nebraska gave me the flexibility I needed to earn a graduate degree. Working on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley, I travel for work to places like Chicago, New York, London, and Madrid, and every time, I took my education with me.”
The 48-credit hour program allowed him to embrace a changing workplace culture and participate in collaborative classes with a diverse group of students.
“We’re working in a culture where sitting together in a class or an office is less necessary. But being able to work with people in groups remotely to accomplish goals is crucial to being successful in the job market. Having the chance to work with people who have different mindsets and backgrounds gave me an edge over my peers.”
The UNL MBA program also exposed Orellana to fields outside his area and influenced his outlook as a professional. Covering areas of business like accounting, finance, marketing and management, the MBA program provides students a varied skill set.
“If it weren't for the MBA program at Nebraska, I would never have had the opportunity to explore so many areas outside my specialty. For example, my last class was in human resource management. This class definitely changed my outlook as a professional and got me thinking differently about growth in my company. The field is such a critical function in business and touches so many areas. The class gave me an avenue to read case studies and participate in discussions in the people-side of careers, an experience I don’t think I would have elsewhere.”
In addition to collaborative courses and experiences, Orellana applied his coursework directly to his current position.
“I’d discuss something at work with my boss, then the same topic would come up in class with my classmates or my professor, and I’d also read about it in the curriculum. I’d get to learn things three ways. That was so valuable to be able to see things from different sides.”