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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

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November 11, 2021

Nastvogel Finds in MBA What He Needs to Serve and Lead

Top Online Graduate Program Gives Veterans Freedom to Earn Degree on Their Own Time
Nastvogel Finds in MBA What He Needs to Serve and Lead
Darian Nastvogel, ’14, earned his degree in the MBA@Nebraska program while serving in the U.S. Air Force around the world. He eventually would go on to work for Google, and currently VMware.

Darian Nastvogel, ’14, began the MBA@Nebraska program while deployed in Iraq during his service in the U.S. Air Force. His time in the program prepared him to work for companies such as Google and his current employer VMware, a cloud-computing company.

“I heard good things about the MBA@Nebraska program from another veteran. He said it was well organized and allowed for a lot of flexibility with class scheduling,” said Nastvogel. “When I made the decision to get my MBA, I really felt like it was a strategic decision.”

His service in the military took him all over the globe, including to South Korea. The fully online program, which ranked No. 11 in online MBA programs for veterans by U.S. News & World Report, allowed Nastvogel to stay on track for his degree, even when life got busy.

“I worked on my degree while I was in Korea and even after the birth of my first child, so there was a lot going on, but the flexibility of the program was super helpful, and all the tools, like Canvas, were really well laid out. It really helped me make it through the program under some tough circumstances at times,” he said.

Getting his degree while serving his country came with its challenges. Nastvogel learned to navigate and balance military life and his education thanks to the program’s accessibility.

“Two weeks after I signed up for classes I found out I was going to be away at a field exercise for about the first week of class. It was an adventure from the very beginning,” he said. “Sometimes we have military things just come up and you have to work around them, but the flexibility in the program helped a lot.”

After his service with the Air Force ended, Nastvogel found his first career outside of the military at Google as a program manager. The job took more than a year to land, but Nastvogel never considered giving up. 

“I like to tell people that I’m just the type of person who doesn’t always know when to quit. Having the tenacity to think that you can get into a company like that helps a lot and just perseverance, because it took 14 months to get in at Google,” Nastvogel explained.

Now as a program manager at VMware, Nastvogel helps lead enterprise-level change efforts and programs that support strategic planning and operations. He continues to use the skills and knowledge he learned in the MBA@Nebraska program.

“I learned how the world economy works and how different economic factors affect the failure or success of companies around the world. The program also gave me a strong foundation when it comes to recognizing and improving organizational processes and frameworks,” he said.

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