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Maryland Smith Trio Among Best and Brightest Online MBAs

Jun 19, 2019
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Joe Costigan
Joe Costigan

New Maryland Smith grads Terri Jarboe Farri, Joe Costigan and Kathleen Finnegan are featured by Poets&Quants in its recently published Best and Brightest Online MBAs: Class of 2019.  

Selection criteria by the digital news site devoted to the global coverage of business schools include strong academic performance, critical and consistent contributions, innate potential and striking personal narratives. The latter is reflected by Farri, founding CEO of a real estate title company and with a Smith undergraduate accounting degree. P&Q highlighted her resiliency in the following excerpt: 

Sometimes, just surviving is an accomplishment in itself [for Farri], the CEO of a titling business she has grown to three locations and ten employees. That’s time-consuming enough – and it doesn’t even include her roles as wife and mother, let alone being heavily involved in community organizations. In other words, to say Jarboe Farri is busy would an understatement. That’s one reason why she ended up on a Dr. Oz show dedicated to stress. His prescriptions, ranging from riding a bike to eating butternut squash, obviously resonated with Jarboe Farri.

“I guess I thought I could push my stress level a little higher and enrolled in the MBA program shortly after,” she jokes. Then again, compared to what Jarboe Farri has already faced over the past two decades in real estate, business school must have been a breeze.

“My grand opening with invited guests and planned festivities was delayed by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Just one year later, I had to rebuild the business after the worst tornado in Maryland history destroyed my first office, in La Plata. Upon relaunching, everyone seemingly was opening a title company as the housing market was going crazy and the financial market was doing great in the early-to-mid-2000s. However, my company was one of a small percentage of title companies in my region that survived when the housing bubble burst in 2008 and continued to ooze for a few years. Through this period, we did not lay off a single employee.”

Finnegan, a U.S. Air Force officer, described how one her online MBA courses helped empower her in her roles as an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance liaison officer and resource advisor:

“The article [from the course Leadership and Team Building] ‘The People Who Make Organizations Go – Or Stop’ by Rob Cross and Laurence Prusak, helped me navigate a new, higher level of leadership where I was the youngest member of the team. I recognized my connections made through deployment made me a central connector of the team. I had incredibly relevant knowledge and access to the most up-to-date information and analysts. This empowered me to seek other connectors and also learn the roles my teammates fulfilled based on the outline of the article.”

And, Costigan, strategic account manager for Red Hat Inc., reflected on why he would do it all over again – if he had to – through Maryland Smith:

“The program has given me a new way of thinking about business, people, and my broader network. My new and expanded business knowledge and perspective has accelerated my career with Red Hat. I now can provide input and solutions for business problems and opportunities around financials, marketing, management, and more. The depth of knowledge I learned about all aspects of business has provided foundation for me to contribute in multiple areas of an organization.”

Read more about the Maryland Smith Online MBA Program and Terri Jarboe Farri, Kathleen Finnegan and Joe Costigan in their Poets&Quants-published ‘Best and Brightest’ profiles.

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.