I’ve applied what I’ve learned and it’s helped change the way I think about my job. You analyze more and look for other ideas."
“There’s a misperception about online learning.”
Those are the thoughts of Kelly Schmidt, Talent Acquisition and HR Business Partner at Yum! Brands, who earned an Online MBA at Auburn in 2016.
“I thought it would be easier,” said Schmidt. “This program was so much more challenging than I thought. I’ve gotten so much more out of it than I ever thought I would.”
Not only have students recognized the value of Auburn’s Online MBA program, but so have the program’s peers. In a report released in October by Poets & Quants, Harbert College’s Online MBA program was ranked No. 8 nationally.
“I think differently about business now than I did before taking the program,” said Schmidt, a 2001 Auburn graduate with a BS in Aviation Management who previously worked as Director of Human Resources for the NFL from 2006 through 2012. “You dissect companies more. I’ve applied what I’ve learned and it’s helped change the way I think about my job. You analyze more and look for other ideas. You think about business for the better.”
An important strength in Auburn’s Online MBA program is its flexibility. For Schmidt, that could be anywhere. Sometimes she studies at 35,000 feet.
This program was so much more challenging than I thought. I’ve gotten so much more out of it than I ever thought I would."
“My job now involves so much travel. I’m on a flight every week,” said Schmidt. “Whether it’s on an airplane or in airports, I access videos wherever I have time. It’s not easy, but if you want to make it happen, you just make it happen. I put on a headset, listen to class and take notes.
“It’s the exact classes that Auburn students are in. Professors do a great job of preparing students for real-world situations. In the virtual classroom, people are a lot more tenured and converse on the same level. I’m an avid learner. I needed a challenge. Learning is fun to me.”
Schmidt, who lived in Los Angeles when she began the program, chose Auburn over nearby Southern California, Pepperdine and UCLA.
After a career that has involved stops at Continental Airlines, the NFL and KFC, Schmidt knows an MBA from Auburn opens doors.
“The great thing about my career is I’m open to anything,” she said. “I evangelize for the Auburn program. I feel like so many people could benefit from it. I feel like Auburn is the best place on earth.”