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Engaged and Connected: Meet the Newest Michigan Ross Online MBA Students

By Bridget Vis

This June, 92 accomplished business professionals from around the U.S. kicked-off their journey in the Online MBA Program at the Ross School of Business.

With an average of 7.7 years of work experience, the new Michigan Ross OMBA students bring a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives to business school. The students live and work in 28 U.S. states, with 78% being based outside of Michigan.

In addition, 40% of the OMBA students already hold an advanced degree, and their average graduate GPA is 3.6 and undergraduate GPA is 3.3. The majority of their undergraduate majors were business-related (33%), followed by engineering (25%) and math/natural science (19%).

Most of the students will continue to work while pursuing their MBA degree at Michigan Ross. Prior to starting in the OMBA program, they reported working for a range of industries, from healthcare to finance, consulting, internet services, and the military. 

Below, meet five of the newest members in the new Michigan Ross OMBA Program. 

Braden Bailie

Hometown: I’m originally from Scottsdale, Arizona but currently live and work in Seattle, Washington

Current job: Supply network operations senior manager, Procter & Gamble

Undergraduate school/major: University of Michigan, industrial and operations engineering

What is your greatest professional accomplishment so far? 

I have managed supply chains for 10 different businesses spanning multiple regions with several billion dollars in sales.

Why did you decide to enroll in the Michigan Ross Online MBA Program? 

I decided to enroll in the Ross OMBA Program to accelerate my development of skills that will make me more effective in my current role and in future career opportunities. As an undergrad Wolverine, I know how thorough and engaging U-M courses and professors are, and I am confident that the education I gain from a Ross MBA will be invaluable.

What made the Ross OMBA program stand out to you versus other programs? 

Although the program began in 2019, it has already established a reputation for its industry-leading content delivery technology. In addition, the flexibility of the online format allows me to continue working my full-time job while earning a top-ranked master’s degree, enabling me to apply skills I learn in class to my work in real time. 

How do you believe pursuing your MBA at Ross will help you in your career? 

With my background as a supply chain professional, learning skills such as negotiation and marketing strategy from both lectures and my peers will make me more well-rounded and enable me to take a more holistic approach when solving future business problems.

Anuj Bhatia 

Hometown: I was born and brought up in Delhi, the capital of India. After completing my master's in Michigan and venturing out to a few different states (Massachusetts, Arizona, and New York) for work, internships, and school, my heart settled for warm, sunny California. Here I met the love of my life and now live in South San Jose, Bay Area. 

Current job: Engineering program manager, Apple

Undergraduate school/major: Guru Nanak Dev University, India, bachelor’s in electronics engineering; Wayne State University, Michigan, master’s in electrical engineering 

What is your greatest professional accomplishment so far? 

I was part of the team that worked on MacBook Air and MacBook Pro products based on Apple’s homegrown silicon. It was a great experience that helped me learn a lot about planning, execution, and program management skills. 

Why did you decide to enroll in the Michigan Ross Online MBA Program? 

Ross OMBA offers a top-notch business school experience with the maximum flexibility of work-life balance, family, school, and golf. I can continue to grow in my current position without taking time off for school and without sacrificing seeing all the milestones of my baby girl as she grows.  

What made the Ross OMBA program stand out to you versus other programs? 

The Online MBA is a very crowded space. These programs solely focus on completing the required number of credits to graduate. In contrast, Michigan Ross offers in-person residencies (in topics such as leadership, transformation, and innovation) and MAP (Multidisciplinary Action Projects), which sets the program apart from other OMBA programs.  

How do you believe pursuing your MBA at Ross will help you in your career? 

Michigan Ross, undoubtedly, has the strongest alumni network. I believe an MBA from here would not only enhance my network, but will provide the skill set for leadership and the business acumen required for the rapidly evolving marketplace. 

What are you most looking forward to in the program and at Ross? 

I am looking forward to the leadership, transformation, and innovation residencies allowing me to collaborate with my fellow cohort.

Anything else you'd like to add about your experience so far?

The planning and execution of onboarding have been flawless! From graduate advising and academic advisors to the career development office, the entire team was approachable and knowledgeable to provide me with guidance every step of the way.

Carolyn Goscilo

Hometown: Pound Ridge, New York

Current job: External reporting financial analyst, Goldman Sachs

Undergraduate school/major: University of Delaware, finance 

Why did you decide to enroll in the Michigan Ross Online MBA Program? 

I decided the Ross OMBA was the right program for me because I would be able to receive the benefits of the full-time program and still be able to work. The structure of the online program will allow me to achieve my career goals and add value in my current position.

What made the Ross OMBA program stand out to you versus other programs? 

The Ross OMBA program stood out to me from other schools because I'd be able to learn from world-class faculty. Networking was also a big factor in my decision; with the three in-person residencies and the opportunity to take part in MAP, I felt Ross would allow me to really grow my network. 

What are you most looking forward to in the program and at Ross?  

I am looking forward to learning from a diverse group of people and being able to apply what I am learning in classes immediately in my current role. 

How do you believe pursuing your MBA at Ross will help you in your career? 

I think getting my MBA at Ross will allow me to improve my leadership skills and allow me to propel my career and grow a strong, diverse network. 

Nathan Mair

Hometown: Ann Arbor

Current job: Senior manager, Custom Formulary/CVS

Undergraduate school/major: University of Michigan, biology and pharmacy 

Why did you decide to enroll in the Michigan Ross Online MBA Program? 

Of the MBA program formats that Ross offers, the online option is the best fit for my current life situation. The flexibility of the schedule is important while maintaining a full-time job. Additionally, it will allow me to continue spending time with my children. The online program will also help me to improve skills in a virtual working environment, which is the standard of working at my current job position. Lastly, I live in Ann Arbor and this proximity will allow me to take advantage of elective courses on campus and allow me to be in direct contact with organizations and groups at Ross.

What made the Ross OMBA program stand out to you versus other programs?

This was the best program in its class. I knew that I would meet classmates throughout the world who are the top in their fields and want to help each other succeed. I also know the Michigan Ross Online MBA Program will teach me new skill sets and fill my gap of business knowledge. The education through Ross will help me on day one and throughout the course of my career. 

For example, looking back retrospectively when I started an independent pharmacy in 2017, I would have had a much faster start if I had acquired an existing operation, but I did not have the knowledge to do this. After navigating the courses offered at Ross, there are specific courses that address my gap in knowledge such as Entrepreneurship via Acquisitions and Bargaining and Influence Skills. These skills will be important if I decide to acquire a pharmacy or another business in the future.

What are you most looking forward to in the program and at Ross? 

Meeting new classmates and networking is what I’m looking forward to most. Ross will also provide a platform of like-minded individuals who are experts in business areas where I have limited expertise. The relationships that I will make will be another helpful resource to knowledge gaps. Future classmates could also be connections for careers or business partners in future entrepreneur ventures I may be involved with.

Anything else you'd like to add about your experience so far?

The meetings set up by Michigan Ross with other OMBA classmates have been very helpful. Students with specific career and/or life interests have the option to connect with classmates in specific cohorts such as healthcare, technology, entrepreneurship, etc. Additionally, everyone in the class I have talked to so far wants to meet and is genuinely motivated to network with one another.

Nicole Teague

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Current job: Senior business operations executive, Minnesota Lynx

Undergraduate school/major: North Carolina State University, business/finance 

What is your greatest professional accomplishment so far?

Managing and innovating the Minnesota Lynx President’s Circle, an exclusive group of Lynx supporters.

Why did you decide to enroll in the Michigan Ross Online MBA Program? 

I wanted to further my education about entrepreneurship, finance, and business to achieve my goals. It will help me grow as a thinker and leader, which will positively impact my career. 

What made the Ross OMBA program stand out to you versus other programs? 

Their commitment to their students. Throughout the application and interview process, I felt very supported by the program. 

What are you most looking forward to in the program and at Ross?  

Continuing to learn and grow both personally and professionally while getting to know my classmates and professors. I’m very grateful to be a part of the Ross and University of Michigan community. I’ve felt very welcomed and supported. 

Meimei Wiemer

Hometown: Princeton, New Jersey

Current job: Associate manager of regulatory program management at Altria

Undergraduate school/major: Gettysburg College, biology

What is your greatest professional accomplishment so far?

I played a pivotal role in how a major cosmetics brand defined the standard for clean beauty. We researched global regulations, scientific literature, and emerging consumer concerns. In the end, we reviewed thousands of ingredients within our formulations to ensure our customers had the cleanest and safest products possible. We even advised retailers on how to refine their clean lists.   

What made the Ross OMBA program stand out to you versus other programs?

The MAP projects. I love that these are not just theoretical textbook examples, but real-world business cases with companies that you would recognize immediately. It's an amazing opportunity to apply classroom learnings, strengthen business acumen, and network.   

What are you most looking forward to in the program and at Ross?

This might sound crazy, but the Leadership Crisis Challenge. You get to work with classmates from all across U-M (not just MBA students) to respond to a simulated crisis. Plus, it's a rare chance to peer into the lives of c-suite executives during an all-hands-on-deck situation.  

How do you believe pursuing your MBA at Ross will help you in your career?

Being an individual contributor, and even a manager, you get a very limited view into how a company functions at the macro level. The comprehensive curriculum, plus expansive electives, will transform my knowledge base so I can have meaningful contributions "at the table." In addition, the unparalleled alumni network allows me to make connections across any industry I may be interested in.

Dan Herzberg

Hometown: Royal Oak, Michigan

Current job: Manager, radiology/medical imaging - Detroit Region, Henry Ford Health

Undergraduate school/major: Western Michigan University, exercise science

What is your greatest professional accomplishment so far?

Being selected for and completing the highly-competitive Administrative Fellowship at Henry Ford Health.

Why did you decide to enroll in the Michigan Ross Online MBA Program? 

The Michigan Ross OMBA Program has the best of both worlds — the flexibility of online with the opportunity to study in-person at a world-class program.

What made the Ross OMBA program stand out to you versus other programs?

The in-person residencies and option to complete electives in Ann Arbor were a huge plus. While I require a largely online experience as I continue to work full-time, the residencies offer an ability to network and collaborate in-person unlike any other online or hybrid program. The application process and support from the advising team has been an amazing first impression of Ross! 

How do you believe pursuing your MBA at Ross will help you in your career?

The healthcare industry has a lot to learn from other areas. I believe the OMBA at Ross will help me to think outside the box and bring innovative ideas from other industries to drive change within healthcare.

Learn more about the Michigan Ross Online MBA Program