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Joanna Oliva

Program:
Evening MBA
Class Year:
Spring 2022
Employer/Title:
International CX Senior Analyst at UPS

Why did you choose Scheller for your MBA/degree?

As a previous employee at Georgia Tech, I know it’s a source of pride for students to say they are Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech has a fantastic international reputation, and I wanted to be a part of the community. Scheller College of Business and Georgia Tech also have connections to startups and tech companies.

From a practical standpoint, Scheller offered the best part-time schedule and offerings for anyone looking to pursue their MBA while working a full-time job. Scheller offers flexibility in the number of courses available each semester and the variety of classes I wanted to take.

What was your background prior to coming to Scheller, and why was Scheller the best fit for you?

My undergrad was in hospitality management. After a few years in the field, I knew I wanted a change. I spent five years transitioning from events to marketing, but without the proper credentials, I felt like I was not considered for the roles I wanted. I knew it was the right time for an MBA.

An MBA from Scheller will help me transition into the business world and equip me with the right tools. After meeting the career services team and hearing stories from alumni about how they transitioned from different jobs and industries, I knew I could shift my career in the right direction at Scheller. There were also several opportunities through case studies and practicum courses for me to gain real-world experience in new areas while pursuing my degree.

What is your day-to-day class experience like? (i.e. hands-on, class size, networking, culture)

The courses in the Evening MBA program usually have several case studies and hands-on group projects. During most classes, professors will have a guided discussion and students always share great insights. Everyone pursuing their Evening MBA degree is ready to learn and interested in the knowledge their peers bring from their different experiences.

The faculty is knowledgeable and always uses real-world examples and applications. Students have plenty of hands-on opportunities so they get to understand what they enjoy, create a foundation to improve their weaknesses and improve their strengths.

The students from my cohort stay in close contact and we check in on one another consistently. We understand that everyone has a lot to balance in their lives, so we are mindful of one another’s times during group assignments, but we never shy away from the opportunity to relax and hang out together.

What does the intersection of business and technology mean to you? (I wasn't sure how to answer this... please let me know if you have any recommendations or feedback)

It means that innovation and the future of business will be shaped. The combination will allow us to reach new potentials and provide better products and results.

What is your favorite memory from your time at Scheller?

During my second semester, when Covid-19 started and we transitioned to remote learning, I worked on a group simulation with my teammates for the Product Management class. I was out on vacation, and I logged into a meeting with my teammates.  We analyzed numbers and trends and discussed what our decisions should be for the next round. We were online for about two hours, but it did not feel like it because we were having fun and learning together. Even though we had conflicting opinions, we worked them out and appreciated one another’s perspectives. I always looked forward to those meetings, and I still consider them to be close friends.

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