Zaneta Purvis and Jason Young represent the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School in Poets&Quants’ inaugural “Best & Brightest Online MBAs,” which spotlights top graduates from the Class of 2018.
Young, senior vice president for media relations at AARP, and Purvis, an M&A transaction services manager for Grant Thornton, share career insights and reflect on their experience with the Smith School, as among 40 profilees representing 19 of the highest-ranked online MBA programs.
What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment?
Purvis: The peer-to-peer knowledge transfer is immense. You can learn from your teammate’s post or brief comments. In many cases, reading chapters of content does not come close. Someone who manages a production facility is going to have first-hand, applied knowledge in the area of shift scheduling and line balancing. I remember greatly benefiting from my teammate’s extensive expertise as an ER physician when we had to work on a triage-intake-bed process flow simulation for an inner city ER operation.
Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program?
Young: I chose Smith because of the peers and professors I wanted to engage with – people with a comprehensive, thoughtful perspective on the nexus of business and public policy. As a Maryland undergrad student (’97), I also knew Smith’s longstanding reputation for excellence. Now that I have been through the program, my expanded network is living proof of the quality of the people that Smith attracts. Two of my classmates work at Facebook, one works for a U.S. Senator, one for the 8th-largest public school system in the U.S., one runs concessions at Churchill Downs (home of the Kentucky Derby), many have military backgrounds (boy they know supply chain management cold), one is an E.R. doc, and several lead key initiatives across industry-leading firms, like Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, GEICO, Freddie Mac and AMC Networks. My cohort spans an impressive geography – from San Francisco to Houston to D.C. to New York – which the online program makes possible.
Young’s personal story, additionally, is showcased as part of Forbes’ coverage of the Poets&Quants package: “You'll Be Surprised By These Online MBA Graduates.”
And, excerpted comments by Young in his profile, along with input from Judy Frels, assistant dean for online programs, comprise a newly updated Smith Online MBA Program profile page at Poets&Quants.