Dianne O’Brien ’16, Master of Business Administration, M.B.A.

Master of Business Administration, M.B.A.
Ernest C.Trefz School of Business

My name is Dianne Cockburn O’Brien. I work as a Revenue Manager at a leading financial news and information firm in New York. Earning my MBA at UB, through the online program, has been a truly fulfilling and rewarding journey, which started in the fall of 2014.

While I was invited to participate in several other programs, the convenience of being able to pursue my MBA without the obligation to attend on campus classed attracted me to the UB program. I had researched and applied to hybrid programs, and full-time programs, but my work and personal schedules and obligations were not compatible with these programs. Working in the Finance field means being available to work extended hours at quarter-ends, some month-ends, and year-ends. As such, on campus studies would be adversely impacted as either work or class attendance would suffer. The clear choice was the online program, which I found to be very structured, and with even more deliverables than on-campus programs.

The UB MBA online program covered a broad spectrum of courses which have high real-world value and applicability, and provided excellent collaborative opportunities with other professionals. The course contents were intellectually stimulating, and designed to give the students broad exposure to their selected fields. We were provided with many opportunities for students and teachers to interact in a professional learning environment, to make presentations, receive and give feedback, and provide constructive criticism. I found the professors to be very responsive and engaged in most cases, which is a plus for the program. The program has helped me to develop additional transferable skills in areas such as project management, International Issues and Entrepreneurship, while providing both national and global perspectives of the business world. I am happy to have closed out with a 3.8 GPA in December of 2016, despite taking a semester off after a major surgery.

My advice to new or current students is that, the syllabus is read at the beginning of each course, so that course requirements and contents are clearly understood. Additionally, deadlines are important, and it helps to develop your assignment schedule and get into a pattern where you are deliberate in setting aside time for assignments, and making posts to the discussion board before, or by the deadline. This will not only ensure that you are on-time with your work, but it will also expand your opportunities to give and receive feedback to and from other professionals, which will prove very valuable.