Ariel Karolinski, a Business Unit Controller for Global Supply Chain Finance at UTC, decided to pursue her MBA as a way to differentiate her skills in a changing work environment and uncertain economy. “I wanted an MBA to help my future career potential and to gain more management experience. Undergraduate studies really don’t cover this.”

She chose to pursue her MBA with WPI for several reasons. “First, WPI’s MBA has a great reputation, with a focus on engineering and technology. Even though I’m in finance instead of engineering, I do work for a manufacturing company and need that perspective. It’s nice to have a program with that kind of focus on the future.”

I knew I didn’t want to do multiple courses at a time like some standard MBA programs. With WPI’s MBA I take one 10-week course at a time. This allows me to better focus on the course material and makes it easier to balance work, life and schoolwork. Plus we progress through each class more quickly.”

“Third, the flexibility and responsiveness of the professors has been great. WPI brings professors on-site at Pratt & Whitney (the division where I work) or to a nearby location. And even though we weren’t on campus I never had a problem with getting in touch with a professor outside of course time, whether by phone or email. They were very good about responding.”

When asked if her courses have had an impact on her day-to-day responsibilities Ariel responded, “Yes, especially the leadership and project management courses. I just finished OBC 501 Group and Interpersonal Dynamics and I can apply what I learned in that course to myself and to making improvements in the workplace. It’s nice to be able to use what you learned in the classroom and make sense of things you deal with on a day-to day basis.”

Ariel was especially appreciative of WPI’s account team approach. “Having Greg and Peter to turn to takes the hassle out of figuring out what classes I should be taking and where to find information…. Plus they really work with you to help make the program fit your schedule. For example, I was able to take a class on campus because it worked better for me at the time, and was also able to join another cohort to complete my graduate project sooner because I’d had some classes waived. It’s helpful to have one place to turn to get answers and make the program work best for you.”

Overall, Ariel feels there is a lot of value in UTC’s partnership with WPI.

“UTC’s partnership with WPI removes a lot of the stress from the experience of going back to school and makes it less daunting. I’ve had a great experience.”

And her advice for other potential students echoes that of many WPI MBA alumni: “Don’t Wait. Start getting your letters of recommendation and GMAT scores pulled together today so you’re ready to go!”

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