My name is Ali Napolitano and I’m on the inbound marketing team for MBA@UNC. I manage organic outreach and relationship building for the brand.
I’m a proud member of the 2U newbie class of 2015. This is my first company meeting and I’m thrilled to be part of the 272 new hires here in Orlando, Florida.
This afternoon I had the extraordinary opportunity to listen to the people who make my job meaningful: the students. At 2U, we’re all about the students, so when I was afforded the chance to hear some stories of success straight from the horse’s mouth, I was excited! Their experiences were inspiring, heartwarming and are incredible fuel for the work I do every day.
The panelists included students from across a series of our programs, including:
- Elizabeth Peters, a student from our very first cohort of Berkeley’s Master’s of Information and Data Science where she unofficially graduated last month
- Andrew Pollock, a Seattle native pursuing a Master’s in Data Science from SMU
- Logan Thomas, a finance ace who got married and received two promotions in her MBA@UNC program prior to completing the degree (barring an exit survey)
- Anissa Davenport, the chief strategic development and marketing officer for Vidant Health who is actively working toward her MBA@Syracuse
- David Bauer, a former Air Force linguist now pursuing an MBA@Syracuse
I could rehash the student session, but the students were the ones who said it best. That said, here are some of my favorite quotes from the today’s student panel. They’re lines that personally proved to me that we’re making a difference.
- When asked about MBA@UNC, Logan said, “It’s because of 2U, it’s because of Kenan-Flagler and how fantastic the program is that I was able to get two promotions during my time in school.”
- In reference to 2U, David said, “You take the university and the students and tie them together — that’s what makes the difference.”
- Andrew was quick to compliment 2U’s learning platform, saying, “The curriculum has been immediately relevant in my job.”
- Anissa echoed Andrew’s point, adding, “The program has been a multiplier for me — it forced me to think differently at work and it’s created more space in my life in a way that I hadn’t expected.” She even went so far to say that tech support has actually helped her marriage!
- When talking about 2U’s unique approach to online education, David said that 2U’s differentiator is “tech mixed with human touch.”
- As for Elizabeth’s takeaways from her experience with 2U, she said that she learned so much about herself and what her passions are thanks to her Berkeley program. She now feels like it’s her place to promote online education. She said the turning point for her was meeting the faculty. “Seeing how invested they were in us made the difference. We weren’t just people in the cloud.”
- When asked about the general public’s response to online education, David said confidently, “That’s when I start evangelizing, breaking the stigma of online education.”
While all of the above quotes are certainly powerful, it was within the last five minutes of a Q&A session that all panel attendees instantly broke into a round of applause. All panelists were asked if there was anything they would change about admissions or PES, and the response was a resounding “no.” I got goosebumps. And when asked if they had any advice to prospective students, they all said, “Yes. DO IT!”